Judge Issues Opinion on Live Animal Markets
NEWS ADVISORY FROM THE LAW OFFICES OF MILLER AND MILLER
TELEPHONE: (415)522-0500; FAX: 0513
July 22, 1998
To All Supporters of the Live Animal Lawsuit:
A TENTATIVE OPINION has been issued by the judge in the case of coalition for healthy and humane business practices v. never ending quails. [The San Francisco Superior Court tried this case April 6-24, 1998, to decide whether SF markets can keep and continue to sell live birds, fish, turtles, frogs, and other animals as food. See back issues of PoultryPress (See PoultryPress, Fall 1996; Winter 1996/97; Summer 1997; Fall 1997; Spring/Summer 1998. UPC Editor's Note.] The opinion:
- Rejects the stores' claims that their conduct is justified on
the basis of "culture";
- Finds the method of killing turtles--shell removal and tissue
sectioning without prior removal and destruction of the head--
both painful and "distasteful";
- Finds that turtles and frogs are kept in crowded, unnatural
conditions without food and water;
- Finds that birds are kept in crowded, dirty cages with distress manifested by a droopy appearance, huddled stance, fluffed feathers, closed eyes, and non-responsiveness.
Despite these findings, the opinion quotes from the [Hebrew] Bible that the "Lord" said to "subdue" the earth and exercise "dominion" over fish, fowl, and every living thing that moves (Genesis 1:28), and reaches the non-sequitur conclusion that the treatment of the animals constitutes neither torment, torture, nor cruelty.
In the case of birds, the opinion concludes that their treatment is legal because it meets the standards of the poultry industry (as if that industry's "products" were not also victims of torture, torment, and cruelty).
In the case of turtles, the opinion concludes there is no reasonable method of killing other than what is presently done and that the pain inflicted is therefore necessary and justified (as if a prohibition against killing were not a reasonable alternative).
It is my intention to appeal this decision.
Endless thanks to everyone who has contributed time, energy, and money to this cause. More is now needed.
Baron L. Miller
- Contact attorney Baron Miller at the above address to find out what you can do to assist this litigation to ban live animal markets in San Francisco and to set a precedent.