For at least the third year in a row, United Poultry Concerns (UPC) the animal rights nonprofit “promoting the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl,” filed a lawsuit to ban the religious practice called Kaporos, where a chicken is used in a religious ritual and then slaughtered during the high holy days.

UPC’s lawsuit was brought in California as a “private attorney general action under California Business and Professions Code § 17200 (the ‘Unfair Competition Law’or ‘UCL’). Plaintiff seeks an injunction to require compliance with California Penal Code (‘PC’) section 597(a), which prohibits intentional killing of an animal and does not contain an exception for religious sacrifice. Defendants [allegedly] engage in business practices for profit in which they charge a fee to kill and discard animals in direct violation of PC 597(a).” United Poultry Concerns v. Chabad of Irvine, et al., Case No. 8:16-cv-01810-AB-GJS (C.D. Cal. Sept. 29, 2016).

The Court had initially granted Plaintiff’s Temporary Restraining Order (Id., Dkt. No. 18), but on Oct. 11, 2016, in a “Telephonic conference re: Defendants’ Motion to Dissolve Temporary Restraining Order; Opposition to Plaintiff’s Preliminary Injunction Motion; and Motion to Strike the Complaint,” Hon. André Birotte Jr., U.S.D.J. dissolved the Temporary Restraining Order and ordered that the “parties shall meet and confer to set briefing deadlines and a proposed date for the Preliminary Injunction hearing.” Id., Dkt. No. 29.

In the past, lawsuits were filed in New York City.

According to the Alliance to End Chickens Kaporos’ (the Alliance) website, Karen Davis, founder of UPC also founded the Alliance in 2010.

As explained on its website:

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is an association of groups and individuals who seek to replace the use of chickens in Kaporos ceremonies with money or other non-animal symbols of atonement. The Alliance does not oppose Kaporos per se, only the cruel and unnecessary use of chickens in the ceremony.

More to come on this case.