A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
JUDICIAL: Animal Welfare, Constitutional Law
In UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. ENVIGO RMS, LLC, Defendant., No. 6:22-CV-00028, 2022 WL 2195030 (W.D. Va. June 17, 2022), government moved for a preliminary injunction to enforce the terms of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The only question that was pending before the court was whether defendant should be prevented from fulfilling existing contracts while winding down its breeding facility operations. The court found that given defendant’s failure to meet their obligations under the AWA that an order preventing defendant from fulfilling its existing contracts was not justified. The court granted the preliminary injunction.
In Hopkins v. Nichols, No. 21-5686, 2022 WL 2168433 (6th Cir. June 16, 2022), defendants seized plaintiff’s cattle without a warrant. Plaintiff claimed that defendants violated their Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The defendants argued that they had qualified immunity because they are public officials. Public officials are entitled to qualified immunity which protects them from personal liability unless they violated clearly established laws or constitutional rights. The district court denied qualified immunity to the defendants because they may have violated a clearly established right. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district courts holding.
In Diamond Nat. Res. Prot. & Conservation Ass’n v. Diamond Valley Ranch, LLC, 138 Nev. Adv. Op. 43 (2022), the State Engineer deviated from the prior appropriations doctrine when assigning water rights in a Critical Management Area (CMA) General Management Plan (GMP). The court had to decide whether Nevada law allowed the State Engineer to approve a GMP that deviated from the doctrine of prior appropriation. The court held that the legislature gave the State Engineer discretion to approve a GMP that departed from the prior appropriation doctrine and other statutes in Nevada’s statutory water scheme. The court concluded that the State Engineer’s factual findings supporting his decision were supported by substantial evidence. The court reversed the district court’s order granting respondents’ consolidated petitions for judicial review and reinstated the State Engineer’s decision.
LEGISLATIVE: Includes Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Rhode Island
SB 22-209 expands small meat processing within the state by providing grant and loan application assistance to small meat processors and persons attempting to start a small meat processing business. Info here.
HB 1097 revises the membership of the state’s Citrus Commission, requiring members to meet certain requirements; requires certain entities to provide reports on citrus production research. Info here.
HB 1697 permits cottage food production operations to sell food over the internet. Info here.
SB 2751 authorizes the state’s director of the department of environmental management to establish quarantine or control zones consistent with USDA emergency plans for animals, animal carcasses, animal tissues, and animal products suspected of being affected with an infectious or communicable disease. Info here.
REGULATORY: AMS, APHIS, EPA, FWS, NIFA
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Proposed rule announcing that AMS is providing an additional fifteen days for public comments on the proposed rule that would amend the Federal marketing order regulating the handling of almonds grown in California. Info here.
ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE
Notice advising the public that APHIS has prepared a pest risk analysis that evaluates the risks associated with importation of fresh baby kiwi fruit from France into the continental United States. Info here.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Proposed rule announcing that EPA has received initial filings of pesticide petitions requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities. Info here.
Notice announcing that EPA is rescinding a cancellation order based on the submission of outstanding data that facilitated the risk assessments and registration review decision for spirodiclofen, as well as the registrant’s commitment to implement label changes that adequately address EPA’s risk concerns. Info here.
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Proposed rule proposing to list the Ocmulgee skullcap (Scutellaria ocmulgee), a plant species from Georgia and South Carolina, as a threatened species and designate critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. Info here.
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Notice announcing that NIFA is soliciting nominations of veterinary service shortage situations for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program for fiscal years 2023-2025, as authorized under the National Veterinary Medical Services Act. Info here.