California Reinstates Slaughterhouse Regulation
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A California law preventing the slaughtering of sick and disabled animals for food was reinstated on Wednesday. A 13-month old injunction issued by Fresno, California-based U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill was determined to be erroneous.

Judge O’Neil came to his initial conclusion by deciding California Penal Code §599f was pre-empted by §678 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The two pieces of law, as it turns out, have nothing to do with one another. The Federal Law simply regulates which kind of animals can be slaughtered. The mistake O’Neil made was rather elementary: a federal law regulating something does not prevent states from outright banning it.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco made the ruling, with Chief Judge Alex Kozinski calling the district court’s reasoning “hogwash.”


“Federal law regulates the meat inspection process,” wrote Kozinski. “States are free to decide which animals may be turned into meat.”


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