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.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and its co-plaintiffs, denying an attempt by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to dismiss a lawsuit against the agency.February 23, 2021 Press Release
New White Paper Offers Policy Recommendations to Combat Zoonotic Diseases and Pandemic Risk from Factory FarmingThe Animal Legal Defense Fund released the second in a series of white papers — COVID-19 and Factory Farming —providing policy recommendations to address industrial animal agriculture’s role in our heightened risk for zoonotic diseases outbreaks, like COVID-19, and its potential to be the source of the next global pandemic.November 19, 2020 Press Release
Though Craigslist has officially banned the sale of animals, animals are routinely sold on its platform. Farmed animals including pigs to dogs and cats to lizards and snakes continue to be advertised and purchased on Craigslist under the guise of “re-homing.”
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