Compelling the FDA To Produce Factory Egg Farm Inspection Reports

The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a federal lawsuit to compel the FDA to produce inspection reports of factory egg farms without censoring important information about the hen population and living conditions.

Updated

December 27, 2018

Work Type

Litigation

Next Step

Awaiting Preliminary Injunction

In 2012, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to compel the Food and Drug Administration to produce Establishment Inspection Reports of several factory egg farms in Texas without censoring important information about the hen population and living conditions.

We’d previously requested these documents in 2011 in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. But when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the Animal Legal Defense Fund the inspection reports, it censored critical information about the hen population and living conditions. This information is necessary to understand the welfare of the animals as well as the risk of disease outbreaks that affect public health and safety.

factory farm
Chicken farm business with high farming and using technology on farming

In 2013, the Northern District of California ruled that the FDA must provide the number of birds per cage but could the rest of the contested information. The Animal Legal Defense Fund appealed that ruling to the Ninth District Court of Appeals where we argued we were entitled to a trial to resolve the factual disputes in the case.

The Ninth Circuit ultimately heard the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s appeal en banc, and set groundbreaking precedent by providing less deference to district courts that resolve factual disputes in FOIA cases on summary judgment without a trial.

Applying that new standard, the Ninth Circuit ordered that the case be sent back to the district court for a trial. That trial occurred in April 2018.

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You Can Protect Animals

Since 1979, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has led the charge to win animals the legal protection they so desperately need—and deserve. Your generous gift will assure that we can continue to take on cases that advance the interests of animals.

Donate