Seeking additional input before ruling on a certiorari petition, the U.S. Supreme Court has asked the acting solicitor general to provide the U.S. government’s view of a challenge to a California law that prohibits slaughterhouses from receiving, processing or selling nonambulatory animals and prohibits dragging or pushing downer animals. Nat’l Meat Ass’n v. Harris, No. 10-224 (U.S., request filed January 18, 2011). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the state to enforce the law, finding that it is not preempted by the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Additional details about the Ninth Circuit’s ruling appear in Issue 344 of this Update.

California adopted the law after The Humane Society’s video of the mistreatment of downer cattle at a slaughterhouse became public and led to a massive beef recall in 2008.