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Capabilities / Animal Health & Production

Animal Health & Production

Making heads and tails of the animal health industry.

Headquartered in the heart of the Animal Health Corridor—home to 56 percent of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics, and pet food sales—Husch Blackwell was the first law firm of its size to create an animal health law team dedicated to livestock and companion animal health. We have the deep experience to advise clients on any business or legal matter, such as mergers and acquisitions, workplace and employee safety, product and technology licensing, sustainability and ESG compliance and reporting, and federal and state regulatory requirements, including vital FDA experience with former agency personnel on our team.

Because science is such a key piece of animal health, our animal health law group is built around Ph.D.-level scientists and attorneys with backgrounds in molecular chemistry, vaccines, immunology, genetics, pharmacology, and physiology. We also focus on establishing and protecting brands for clients worldwide.

Animal Health

As some of the most heavily regulated product classes on the market, animal feedstocks and drugs require deep legal and industry knowledge. At Husch Blackwell we have developed an Animal Health team of lawyers with the necessary background and experience to provide clients with a turnkey solution to the research, manufacture, and marketing of animal health products. Our team brings together intellectual property, antitrust, and federal/state regulatory lawyers to help clients get in front of challenges and manage risk.

FDA Regulatory

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is the chief regulator of the pet food and animal drug industries. Our Animal Health team features former FDA personnel and can effectively guide clients through all phases of product development, including approvals for new drugs/products, advice on marketing and manufacturing, and responding to agency inquiries.

Meat & Poultry

Our firm represents producers of meat and poultry products across the country on a variety of business and legal issues, ranging from regulatory reviews, inspections, and investigations to resolving disputes in connection with commercial, environmental, employment-related and marketing/labeling causes of action. We have deep experience in assisting clients with regulatory compliance programs concerning both the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as state-level regulators. Our team is also poised to handle novel issues for industry participants, including internet-of-things technologies, blockchain, agricultural biotechnologies such as gene-edited animals, and the emergent challenges of ESG compliance and reporting.

Dairy

Husch Blackwell has worked with leading producers of milk and dairy products for decades to provide corporate and business law advice, craft regulatory compliance programs, and to advocate for them in a variety of disputes, including regulatory investigations, product liability lawsuits, and patent and trademark enforcement actions. Our clients include one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the United States, and our team is well-versed in handling the complex legal and operational issues that arise within the co-op context, including corporate transactions.

Sustainability

As alternative protein and other novel categories of food grow in market share, traditional meat and poultry producers are under greater pressure to demonstrate sustainable production practices and establish higher benchmarks for sustainability, such as the recently revised US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB) sustainability goals. Our team works with industry participants across the entire product lifecycle—from producers to auction markets, processors, and retailers—to develop the necessary legal framework for their sustainability efforts and reporting goals.

Representative Experience

  • Served as FDA, USDA, and FTC regulatory counsel to animal health companies in their regulatory filings and compliance programs.
  • Served as FDA regulatory counsel for international and domestic animal health companies as they prepare for US IPOs.
  • Served as intellectual property and licensing counsel for domestic animal health company as it prepared for IPO.
  • Represented defendant in patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado involving a method of using genetic merit to determine relative value of livestock.
  • Advised clients on the prevention and response to agri-terrorism, including screening of applicants for employment.
  • Assisted cattle breed associations and genetics companies in developing DNA marker-assisted expected progeny differences.
  • Represented pharmaceutical companies in structuring cross-border licensing and ownership of intellectual property for tax efficiencies.
  • Filed New Animal Drug Applications on behalf of animal health clients.
  • Advised feed manufacturer on meeting FDA requirements for the manufacture of feed products.
  • Counseled dairy company on the voluntary recall of potentially tainted dairy product.
  • Negotiating international license and marketing agreement for a rapid diagnostic technology applicable to human and animal health.
  • Represented defendant in patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho involving a teat-dipper device used in conjunction with dairy farming.
  • Represented defendant in trademark and trade dress infringement case in the U.S. District for the Northern District of California involving packaging and color combinations used for packaging pet care products.
  • Represented defendants in trade secrets misappropriation, unfair competition, and breach of contract action in Illinois relating to veterinary CAT and MRI scanners and related technologies.
  • Represented plaintiff in two breach of contract/covenant not to compete lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas involving a leading pioneer in probiotics for dairy and feedlot cattle.
  • Represented defendant in an antitrust case in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas on behalf of a cattle growth implant manufacturer.
White Papers | October 19, 2023
State-By-State Guide to Ag-Gag Legislation
Blog | September 03, 2021
Kansas Ag-Gag Law Update - September 2021
Blog | August 11, 2021
Arkansas Ag Gag Update
Blog | August 09, 2021
Update on Cattle Checkoff
Blog | December 09, 2020
Meatless Meat Update XII
Blog | November 11, 2020
Meatless Meat Update XI
Blog | June 19, 2020
North Carolina Ag-Gag Law Update
Blog | June 12, 2020
Ag-Gag Law Update (June 2020)
Blog | June 04, 2020
Meatless Meat Update X
Blog | April 20, 2020
Update on Checkoff Dues
Blog | April 14, 2020
Meatless Meat Update IX
Blog | February 27, 2020
Meatless Meat Update VIII
Blog | October 15, 2019
Update on Meatless Meet Negotiations
Blog | July 03, 2019
July Iowa "Ag Gag" Law Update
Blog | April 24, 2019
Iowa "Ag Gag" Law Update
Blog | March 27, 2019
Update: Ag-Gag Law
Webinar | March 16, 2023
Competition Policy Under the Microscope
Speaking Engagements | August 24 - 26, 2021
Speaker, From "Cruelty-Free" to "Sustainable"; What Does it Mean and How Do You Capture Public Sentiment Without Exposing Your Company?, Digital Animal Health Summit

Husch Blackwell attorney Mike Annis will speak at the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor's Digital Animal Health Summit.

Speaking Engagements | August 24 - 26, 2021
Speaker, "Regulatory Update: Cell-Based Meats + OTC Animal Products + CBD + Feed Additives," Digital Animal Health Summit

Husch Blackwell attorney Emily Lyons will speak at the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor's Digital Animal Health Summit.

News Releases | August 06, 2019
Greater Omaha Chamber Names Kamron Hasan to Leadership Omaha

Based in Omaha, Hasan has played a key role in several of Husch Blackwell’s most recent litigation victories.

When we were blindsided by a patent infringement lawsuit that could have put us out of business if found meritorious, we turned to our trusted legal advisors at Husch Blackwell. The team truly delivered. Their decisive action and novel approach to our situation resulted in dismissal of the lawsuit and an order from the USPTO invalidating every claim of the asserted patents.

Wade Shafer, American Simmental Association