New York Pet Welfare Association v. City of New York
United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit
850 F.3d 79 (2017)
Congress enacted the Animal Welfare Act, authorizing the Department of Agriculture (the department) to inspect pet breeders’ facilities to ensure the humane treatment of animals. The act also authorized the department to create a licensing system for breeders, under which breeders had to register with the department. Pursuant to the act, the department created a licensing system, under which breeders fell into either a Class A, Class B, or exempt category. In 2015 New York City (defendant) enacted the Sourcing Law, providing that pet shops within the city could only acquire animals from Class A breeders. The New York Pet Welfare Association (the association) (plaintiff) sued the city on the ground that the Source Law was preempted by the Animal Welfare Act and violated the Commerce Clause. The association argued that the law made it difficult for out-of-state breeders not possessing the required license and favored in-state rescue shelters over out-of-state breeders. The district court found that the Source Law was neither preempted by nor violative of the Commerce Clause and dismissed the complaint. The matter was appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Korman, J.)
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