Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Updates on U.S. Animal Laws | petMD

Here are some legal updates - one concerns horse slaughter in New Mexico, the other concerns the status of pets as property.

There is currently a U.S. ban on horse slaughter.  That is both good news and bad news.  The good news is we don't slaughter horses in the U.S.  The bad news is they still do in Mexico and horses are being transported to Mexico.  Obviously they do not have the same regulations that may require slaughter to be "humane."

The other is a Texas Supreme Court case that addresses the concept of pets as property and whether the loss of a pet has compensable value.  Here's what the Court said:

"We acknowledge the grief of those whose companions are negligently killed. Relational attachment is unquestionable. But it is also uncompensable. We reaffirm our long-settled rule, which tracks the overwhelming weight of authority nationally, plus the bulk of amicus curiae briefs from several pet-welfare organizations (who understand the deep emotional bonds between people and their animals): Pets are property in the eyes of the law, and we decline to permit non-economic damages rooted solely in an owner’s subjective feelings. True, a beloved companion dog is not a fungible, inanimate object like, say, a toaster. The term “property” is not a pejorative but a legal descriptor, and its use should not be misconstrued as discounting the emotional attachment that pet owners undeniably feel. Nevertheless, under established legal doctrine, recovery in pet-death cases is, barring legislative reclassification, limited to loss of value, not loss of relationship. We reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and render judgment in favor of the Petitioner."

Bottom line, pets are still property in the eyes of the law.  You can get compensated for the loss of their value, not the loss of the relationship

Updates on U.S. Animal Laws | petMD

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