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Levine v. Vilsack

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20273
Nos. No. 08-16441, (9th Cir., 11/20/2009)

The Ninth Circuit held that animal rights organizations lacked standing to challenge a USDA notice stating that "there is no specific federal humane handling and slaughter statute for poultry." The lower court entered summary judgment in favor of the USDA, holding that while the plain meaning of the word "livestock" as used in the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1958 is ambiguous, congressional intent behind the term was clear and consistent with the interpretation adopted by the USDA. But the only enforcement mechanism contained in the Act was repealed in 1978. Accordingly, the organizations' alleged injuries are not redressable and they lack of standing to proceed with this action. Consequently, the lower court's summary judgment order was vacated and the case was remanded with instructions to dismiss.