Downer Animals Outlawed

A federal appeals court reenacts a California law that outlaws sick animals from entering the food supply.

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Last Wednesday, a federal appeals court reinstated a California law banning sick, downed animals from being slaughtered for consumption. The law, which was amended in 2008 to extend protection to downed animals, was temporarily blocked last year by a federal judge after the National Meat Association and the American Meat Institute filed lawsuits. Shortly after the appeals court announced its ruling, the Humane Society of the United States released a statement praising the federal appeals court’s decision, adding that downed cattle are more likely to be carriers of bovine spongiform encephalopathy—colloquially known as mad cow disease.