Case About Inhumane Treatment of Pigs Reaches U.S. Supreme Court

Case About Inhumane Treatment of Pigs Reaches U.S. Supreme Court



A lot of cases regarding inhumane treatment, cruelty and executions have already been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, but until now, there was none concerning pigs.

The case regarding “non-ambulatory pigs” involves a heated row between the pork industry and the state of California over how to treat pigs that are unable or unwilling to walk upon arriving at a slaughterhouse.

The issue, which the Supreme Court justices is set to deliberate upon next week, has already caused the Obama administration to earn the ire of the Humane Society of the United States, which faulted government lawyers for taking the side of the pork producers in the said case.

Under the three-year-old California statute, a slaughterhouse should immediately take away a “non-ambulatory animal” from the herd and then “humanely euthanize” it.

Federal law states animals that are lying down should be removed and examined, but most do not need to be kept away from the slaughterhouse.

Steven Wells, a Minneapolis lawyer who represents the National Meat Association, said, “Sometimes the pigs are stressed or fatigued from the trip, or they’re just stubborn. Usually, they recover, and if they’re fine, they go into the food supply.”

For the part of Susan K. Smith, the California Deputy Attorney General in Los Angeles, she said, “We’re not concerned about a pig who is taking a nap. Our definition of a non-ambulatory pig is one who is unable to stand and walk without assistance.”

Smith said that California’s law, which is currently on hold pending the results of the legal challenge, would protect the human food supply, as well prevent animal cruelty.