Pleadings, Briefs, and Jury Charges


Full Site Search


The navigation select boxes below will direct you to the selected page when you hit enter.

Topical Explanations

Primary Legal Materials

Select by Subject

Select by Species

Select Administrative Topic

World Law

Secondary Legal Materials

Great Apes and the Law

Great Apes and the Law

Maps of State Laws

Map of USA
Levine et al v. Johanns (2005)

Plaintiff's Attorney:   Corey Evans and Geneva Page

Topic: Humane slaughter

Case File #:   No. C 05-04764 MHP

Jurisdiction:   United States

Year Case Filed:   2005

Printible Version

This action challenges the exclusion of chickens, turkeys, and other birds from the protections of the federal Humane Slaughter Act (HSA).  The Levine plaintiffs’ complaint challenges a USDA Notice issued on September 28, 2005, titled “Treatment of Live Poultry Before Slaughter.”  The Notice states that there is no federal statute governing the humane slaughter of poultry, but recommends that the poultry industry adopt voluntary measures to improve slaughter practices.  Plaintiffs all contend that by excluding these animals from the protections of the Act exposes them to greater risk of food-borne illness.  The inhumane methods of slaughtering the birds have been linked in scientific studies to greater incidence of food-borne pathogens in the meat.  In their complaint, Plaintiffs request an order finding the act of excluding poultry from the HSA is arbitrary and capricious, and enjoining the USDA from excluding poultry species from the HSA.  In its order regarding defendant’s motion to dismiss, the court found that plaintiffs credibly alleged that they face an imminent exposure to heightened risk that they will become ill from consuming inhumanely slaughtered animals.  Thus, defendant’s motion to dismiss the consumer claims was denied.


First Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (11/21/2005) (pdf file - 2.85 MB)

Final Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (11/21/2005) (pdf file - 1019.43 KB)

Memorandum and Order regarding the Motion to Dismiss (09/05/2006) (pdf file - 179.43 KB)

Top of Page