animal cruelty

A view of the outside of the NC Court of Appeals building

Court of Appeals orders new trial for man convicted based on the word of a blind and drunk neighbor

BY: - July 6, 2023

The only evidence that connected Calvin Ray Hocutt to the dog’s death was the statement of a blind man with short-term memory issues who had been drunk at the time of the shooting. That man, Tommy Lozier, told police he’d seen Hocutt fleeing his landlord’s home carrying a rifle, and that Hocutt had told him […]

hog farm

In defeat for pork industry, U.S. Supreme Court okays California animal cruelty law

BY: - May 11, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a case challenging a California law approved by that state’s voters in 2018 that could have a significant impact on pork producing states like North Carolina. As was explained in this column last Spring, the case revolved around a law that requires all pork sold in the nation’s […]

Federal court of appeals rules NC’s ag-gag law is unconstitutional, signals a win for whistleblowers

BY: - February 24, 2023

In a split decision the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that North Carolina’s “ag-gag law” is unconstitutional and infringes on free speech. The three-judge panel ruled 2-1: Justices Henry Floyd and Albert Diaz, both appointed by President Obama, wrote for the majority. Judge Allison Jones Rushing, an appointee of President […]

The most impactful agricultural story of 2022

BY: - December 30, 2022

Whew… what a year. If you closely follow ag doings, you know there’s plenty to talk about. If not, well let me get you caught up. First, three stories that fall just a wee bit short of the most impactful agricultural story of 2022.

Beagles rescued from Virginia dog-breeding facility get the star treatment in D.C.

BY: - September 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — Now-famous beagles rescued from a breeding and research facility in Virginia were on Capitol Hill on Thursday as an animal welfare group and a California congressman pushed for legislation that would promote adoption of research animals.  “It’s unfortunate that animals are still allowed to be used in testing. That hopefully is going to […]

Stockholders sue Costco officials over alleged mistreatment of chickens grown too big

BY: - June 15, 2022

A lawsuit claims that Costco is in violation of Nebraska and Iowa livestock welfare laws by breeding chickens that “unnaturally” grow too fast, become so fat they can’t stand up to reach food or water and end up dying. Two Costco shareholders filed the lawsuit Monday in Washington State, where Costco is based, against the […]


A “sweeping and disturbing” UNC-Chapel Hill investigation, NC nurse practitioners seek autonomy, and history is made on the nation’s highest court: The week’s top stories on Policy Watch

BY: - April 8, 2022

In this issue: 1. Hampered by opposition from doctors‘ groups, nurse practitioners want to change state law to give them more freedom to treat patients Cindy Cross was diagnosed with breast cancer about 15 years ago and found compassionate medical care when she first visited Michelle Taylor Skipper’s office in Laurinburg. Cross has been a […]

North Carolina should follow California’s lead on hog farming

BY: - April 5, 2022

As the dire worldwide climate emergency makes ever clearer, humans have much urgent work to do when it comes to dramatically reducing fossil fuel emissions. Even with rapid and hugely ambitious action, the effects of global warming will continue to worsen in the decades ahead and the best-case scenarios will be largely about minimizing harm. That said, the situation would likely be measurably worse today if it were not for the actions of one very important U.S. state: California.