PETA's "Happy Cows" Lawsuit Trudges on

In April 2003, California Superior Court Judge David Garcia dismissed a lawsuit brought by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against the California Milk Advisory Board. Judges in California’s First District Court of Appeal heard PETA’s appeal of that decision this week.

The California Milk Advisory Board has produced an ad campaign that emphasizes how happy cows in California are. PETA maintains that California cows are, in fact, unhappy and that the ad campaign constitutes false advertising.

Superior Court Judge Garcia dismissed the lawsuit based on narrow grounds of sovereign immunity — essentially, the lawsuit is beside the point since the state of California is exempt from its own laws.

According to New York Lawyer, the arguments before the appeals court centered on whether or not the false advertising law can be applied to the quasi-governmental milk advisory board.


PETA Suit Says Cows Are Unhappy. New York Lawyer, November 17, 2004.

PETA Takes “Happy Cows” Lawsuit to Higher Court. Press Release, PETA, Undated.

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