ASI News

Court Relies on Study Workshopped at the ASI-UIUC Summer Institute
Recent court case, Miyoko’s Kitchen v. Karen Ross, et al., challenged the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s restriction on use of the term "butter" etc. for plant-based products such as Miyoko's. A federal judge recently granted summary judgment with respect to the use of the terms and phrases “butter,” “lactose free,” “cruelty free,” and “revolutionizing dairy with plants.” The court relied upon a 2018 research study by Silke Feltz and Adam Feltz, "Consumer Accuracy at Identifying Plant-based and Dairy-based Milk Items," which was workshopped at the 2018 ASI-UIUC Summer Institute.

Find out more about the issue and case on November 4 when the plaintiff, Miyoko Schinner discuss her company's August 2021 California legal victory to use words such as "butter" or "dairy" on her plant-based products, setting a precedent for others in the plant-based and cell-cultured space. To find out more register here.
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science

We love making an impact! ASI is pleased to announce that he ASI-managed Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, published by Taylor & Francis, has once again exceeded its quarterly full-text downloads from last year. For the first three quarters of 2021, over 77,000 articles dealing with issues affecting animal welfare were downloaded. Along those lines, the latest Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Volume 24, Issue 4, October-December 2021 is now available. 

To learn more about the journal, follow this link to the Taylor & Francis website. You may also search abstracts and full articles, through ASI’s searchable Digital Archive.
Human-Animal Studies Facebook Group

The ASI-sponsored Facebook group, Human-Animal Studies, is making waves! Now with over 2,500 members, the group has become a vibrant and active community which regularly has over ten posts a day from scholars, students, and others interested in Human-Animal Studies. To stay up to speed on what’s going on in HAS the field daily, sign up here.
ASI Call for Board Members

Do you want to help create a more compassionate world? Would you like to see evidence-based research used to strengthen human-animal relationships? If you do, you may be a match for ASI’s open board member positions. Whether you have experience working with a hands-on board or are thinking about joining a board for the first time, this may be the right opportunity for you. Read more about what the position entails and how to apply here.
The Policy Corner
Author LeAnn Snow- ASI Policy Volunteer
LeAnn Snow
As promised, we revisit state-level legislative policy changes that have taken place since May. It is worth noting that stand-out advancements continue to pertain to companion animal protections (as evident, too, by federal policy progress highlighted in the September newsletter), which perhaps speaks to greater public interest and support. Companion animal policy also transcends the blue and red political polarization we are accustomed to, whereas wildlife and farmed animal policies remain highly contentious and politically charged. Policy that could positively affect farmed animals remains sparse. In its place are measures that protect agricultural and economic interests, rarely with stipulations considering basic animal interests. Wildlife policies are a mixed bag in which more progressive states seem to seek protections while conservative states prioritize hunting and gaming interests. In the nebulous context of animal experimentation, non-animal tested cosmetics is a sector continuing to grow as a general public concern with cruelty-free products gains popularity in stores and legislation. Increased support for cruelty-free products juxtaposed with the comparative public silence surrounding medical animal testing might be distilled down to beliefs in “necessary” vs “optional” animal experimentation.

The below listing of bills provides more context for these interpretations. Note that this set of bills are a fraction of all introduced state-level bills in 2021. It would take pages to list all legislative introductions from 2021 (for those interested in seeing more breadth with more regularity, the Brooks Animal Law Digest offers concise weekly summaries):

Wildlife Management:

Farmed Animals:
  •   In a bill (H.B. 1480) that continues to put agricultural interests at odds with advocates of basic animal protections, Texas has criminalized entry into facilities with “intent” to commit a prohibited action.

Animal Experimentation:

Companion Animals:

With that, this article marks the final contribution from the Policy Corner for 2021. As we head into the holiday season and year’s end, cities and states are gearing up for elections in November. Most introduced legislation currently in review from 2021 should remain active into 2022 and we look forward to tracking these legislative updates. Next year we also intend to broaden the scope of the Policy Corner. While continuing to periodically report on important legislative activities, we will tend to the complicated idea of policy itself and investigate a more diverse range of policy topics relating to Animals & Society.

Wishing our readers a happy, safe and healthy year’s end!
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