Animal Legal Def.Fund v. CA Exposition & St. FairsAnnotate this Case
California Exposition and State Fairs (Cal Expo), regulated by Food and Agriculture Code 3301, is responsible for organizing the State Fair every July and enters into an agreement every year with the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The School sets up and manages the livestock nursery exhibit where pregnant pigs and other animals are put on display for three weeks to give birth and nurse. Cal Expo provides the land, tent, support infrastructure, and financial compensation, while the School provides the animals, equipment, and staff. Transporting pigs during the last two weeks of their pregnancy causes suffering due to stress and physical discomfort, potentially resulting in an aborted pregnancy. At the fair, the School places the pregnant pigs in farrowing crates, so small that the mother pigs cannot turn around or walk, for the three-week duration of the State Fair. Plaintiffs filed a complaint asserting a section 526a taxpayer action, premised on the theory that defendants waste taxpayer money and staff time by obtaining, transporting, and exhibiting pregnant pigs. The court of appeal affirmed dismissal, agreeing that California’s animal cruelty laws (Pen. Code, 597, 597t.)are not enforceable through a taxpayer action.