Challenging Backyard Butchers in Florida
Danice Echgelmeier v. Roman Hernandez
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit to shut down four black market backyard slaughter operations outside of Fort Myers, Florida.
Court granted final judgment against remaining defendants
Monitor the slaughter operations and enforce the final judgment
In July 2018, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit to shut down four black market backyard slaughter operations outside of Fort Myers, Florida. These operations violate state animal cruelty and slaughter laws, and nuisance laws.
Videos of workers at these backyard slaughter operations reveal that animals routinely regain consciousness mid-slaughter. Workers stab squealing pigs repeatedly in the chest and throat, and skin animals, such as goats, while they are still kicking and showing signs of life. Conscious pigs, goats, and other animals are dragged from holding areas to slaughter by their heads and tails, often using large metal hooks.
The Florida Humane Slaughter Act requires animals be unconscious and rendered insensitive to pain prior to slaughter. The law also prohibits people from shackling or hoisting animals with the intent to kill without first rendering the animal insensitive to pain.
Who is being sued, why, and under what law? The defendants are alleged to run four backyard slaughter operations in Fort Myers, Florida. They are being sued under the Florida Humane Slaughter Act, state animal cruelty laws, and state public and private nuisance laws.
What court is the lawsuit filed in? Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, in Lee County, Florida.
Why this case is important: These operations jeopardize public health and safety by selling illegally slaughtered animals, including horses, for human consumption, in addition to violating anticruelty laws.
Ask your state representative to co-sponsor two animal protection budget amendments.June 10, 2021 Action Alert
Chelsea Handler, Ethan Hawke, Bill Maher, and Dozens of Celebrities Urge New Jersey Legislators to Ban Gestation and Veal CratesActors Paul Wesley, Christina Ricci, Stevie Van Zandt and dozens of native and resident celebrities join the Animal Legal Defense Fund in an open letter urging the state’s legislators to end the intensive confinement of mother pigs and calves in New Jersey.May 10, 2021 Press Release
HF 775 is aimed at criminalizing whistleblowing and undercover investigations in agricultural facilities, thus “gagging” activists and others who expose animal abuse in factory farms and slaughterhouses.April 12, 2021 Action Alert
Caru SPCA v. Dick Van Dam Dairy
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement v. Council on Environmental Quality
Cape Fear River Watch v. Environmental Protection Agency