Farmed animals in the U.S. receive virtually no protection under federal law except for regulations of the way they are transported and slaughtered. Despite the last few decades’ slow expansion of legal protections for companion animals and, to a lesser degree, animals used in entertainment, no federal laws have been enacted to protect farmed animals when it comes to the way they are raised. Moreover, most state laws exempt otherwise cruel standard agricultural practices from state cruelty laws, essentially making farmed animals beyond—or beneath—the law.
In late April, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General regarding violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act recorded on video at a pig-breeding facility own and operated by The Maschhoffs, LLC. The Animal Legal Defense Fund complained that the company engaged in unfair business practices due to the apparent animal neglect caused by a failure to feed and provide proper veterinary care to animals. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s complaint also alleged that the company engaged in deceptive business practices because the conditions at the facility conflicted with the company’s own advertising that it is committed to “humane animal handling” and providing the “best possible environment” for the animals.[…]