Dairy Cos. Try To Block Antitrust Suit Over Cow Killings

By Roxanne Palmer (December 23, 2011, 4:46 PM EST) -- A group of dairy companies asked a California federal court Thursday to dismiss an animal rights group's antitrust class action claiming they paid farmers to kill cows to artificially raise milk prices, saying the allegations would be more properly addressed by the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

The claims made by Matthew Edwards, Georgia Browne and Torah Montessori School, members of the group Compassion Over Killing, "invoke the secretary's exclusive statutory power to determine whether milk prices have been 'unduly enhanced,'" meaning the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the defendants argue in a motion.

The plaintiffs sued National Milk Producers Federation, Agri-Mark...

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