Court Upholds Ability to Challenge Renewal of USDA License Under the Animal Welfare Act

A U.S. District Court Judge in North Carolina today rejected the government’s motion to dismiss a case we are doing with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in which PETA and others are challenging the United States Department of Agriculture’s decision to renew the Animal Welfare Act license of a road-side zoo amid extensive evidence that the facility habitually violates the AWA and was in violation of several AWA standards when the USDA renewed the license.  The case is particularly important because the AWA does not have a private right of action.  The Judge agreed with us that the agency’s decision may be brought under the Administrative Procedure Act and was not the same as the exercise of prosecutorial discretion which cannot be challenged in court. The decision can be read here