WUD is heavily engaged in Sacramento fighting a new bill that would provide a NEW RIGHT OF ACTION to any group of 20 citizens forming a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) to bring a civil complaint alleging a violation of “any law relating to or affecting animals.” AB 554 seeks to allow any citizen to sue a dairy farmer or beef rancher based on alleged animal cruelty in a civil court -rather than a criminal setting.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund (the bill sponsor) claims that “commonplace, standard industry practices” within the livestock industry which are “perfectly legal” constitute “cruelty.” This bill enables ALDF to pursue its definition of “cruelty” in the civil courts – a strategy to harass or outright eliminate animal agricultural production, fairs, accredited zoos, rodeos, and other activities where animals are present in California.
Animal welfare is paramount to WUD, the California dairy industry, and all of our Barnyard coalition organizations who have banded together in opposition to this bill. California has the highest animal welfare standards in the nation. We believe those who abuse or neglect animals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – in criminal court where an unbiased prosecutor vets claims of animal abuse alleged by an SPCA.
AB 554 is headed to the floor of the Assembly. Please help WUD elevate your voice in the capitol by visiting our website and filling out a letter to your Assembly representative!