The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has filed a lawsuit arguing that a 2015 assessment issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) “ignores the most logical alternative” in determining the national approach to combating avian influenza in poultry-production facilities. Humane Society of U.S. v. USDA, No. 20-3258 (C.D. Cal., W. Div., filed April 8, 2020). HSUS argues that USDA failed to adequately detail alternatives to its approach to a bird flu pandemic and instead chose as the “preferred alternative” a practice that includes shutting down a facility’s ventilation system, allegedly resulting in the birds inside suffocating and “essentially cook[ing] the conscious birds to a protracted, and unnecessarily torturous death.” HSUS seeks a declaration that USDA’s action was arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion.

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