PETA splits freedom of expression verdicts

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1995:

Ruling at the Newcastle Crown Court,
British High Court Judge Peter Langan on June
16 refused to grant Covance Laboratories a n
extended injunction to prevent PETA from airing
undercover videography of a Covance facility in
Vienna, Virginia, but allowed a previous injunction
to stand for another 14 days to allow Covance time
to appeal.
Covance pledged to appeal, but on June
23 withdrew parallel motions filed in Fairfax,
Virginia, where Covance is pursuing a lawsuit
against PETA and investigator Lisa Leitten, a for-
mer primate technician, for alleged fraud and viola-
tion of an employee contract.

PETA counsel Desmond Browne
described the video in court as “horrendous.”
Responded Langan, “Mr Browne’s
rhetoric may owe something to forensic licence but,
having watched the video, I am unable to say that
his language is far short of the mark. I would regard
the description ‘highly disturbing’ as fitting the
video precisely. I take just two aspects of what can
be seen, the rough manner in which animals are
handled and the bleakness of the surroundings in
which they are kept. These are matters which, even
to a viewer with no particular interest in animal wel-
fare, at least cry out for explanation.”
Langan assessed $91,341 in court costs
against Covance.
In an unrelated case also involving free-
dom of expression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the D.C. District on July 5 ruled that the
Washington D.C. Commission on the Arts &
H u m a n i t i e s was within its rights in 2002 when it
refused to include a PETA sculpture of a chained
elephant wearing a blanket with an anti-circus slo-
gan in a sidewalk exhibit of sculptures of donkeys
and elephants. PETA appealed the rejection to U.S.
District Judge Richard J. Leon, who in August
2002 ordered the D.C. Commission on the Arts and
Humanities to allow the elephant sidewalk space
during the last month of the five-month exhibit.
Leon later ordered the commission to
refund PETA’s $4,000 sponsorship fee.
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