(CNSNews.com) - A California judge has thrown out a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) seeking to stop California dairy farmers from running TV ads touting how happy, healthy and well-cared for dairy herds are.
PETA, which filed the lawsuit in 2011, had argued that the California Milk Advisory Board and the California Department of Food and Agriculture had violated state rules that bar misleading or inaccurate marketing with the “Happy Cows” ads.
The animal rights group had demanded that California dairy farmers prove that California cows are “happy cows,” as the milk board claimed in the ads.
PETA claimed that the Milk Advisory Board was “lying about the condition of actual cows at actual California dairies.”
But in an Aug. 24 decision, Superior Court Judge Lloyd G. Connelly in Sacramento dismissed the suit, ruling that PETA had failed to provide any evidence that California dairy farms mistreat dairy cows.
Connelly held that state agriculture inspectors and the state dairy board had “extensive experience and knowledge that provides strong evidentiary support” justifying the dairy board's claims that California dairy farmers “are very concerned about the health, comfort and safety of their cows” and “adhere to some of the highest animal welfare standards in the U.S.”
The judge further found that the marketing statements in the promotion “are general assertions about the efforts of California dairy farmers in caring for their cows, not factual representations of the health status and comfort level of the cows or the particular practices and standards used by farmers to care for the cows.”
The California Milk Advisory Board applauded the ruling.
“California dairy families take the well-being and care of their cows very seriously,” Jennifer Gambrioli, spokeswoman for the California Milk Advisory Board, told CNSNews.com.