Cruelty laws apply to livestock, lawsuit says, Seattle P-I, Feb. 20, 2009:
In the suit filed earlier this month by the Northwest Animal Rights Network, the activists aim, at a minimum, to limit the manner in which meat and dairy producers treat their livestock, said Adam Karp, a Bellingham attorney representing NARN.Karp has taught Animal Law at both the UW and SU.
Under state law, animal cruelty can be charged as a felony. But the law exempts livestock handlers from prosecution so long as their actions are in line with "customary animal husbandry practices."
That standard, Karp argued, gives the industry far too great a role in determining what is and isn't humane treatment. Karp alleged that many practices considered "customary" by meat, milk and egg producers are unduly and unnecessarily cruel.