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.
Tell legislators you believe that factory farming has no place in the United States.July 1, 2020 Action Alert
The Animal Legal Defense Fund has launched a series of billboards, in English and Spanish, surrounding the JBS slaughterhouse in Greeley, Colorado — offering an online tip portal where industrial animal agriculture workers can report any concerns, including worker safety, animal abuse and depopulation, and illegal disposal of animals’ bodies.June 30, 2020 Press Release
The Animal Legal Defense Fund announced that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has denied the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed on behalf of Miyoko’s Creamery (Miyoko’s).June 26, 2020 Press Release
Petition to the USDA submitted in June 2020
Petition to the FDA submitted in June 2020
Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Food and Drug Administration