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CLASON v. INDIANA

decided: March 27, 1939.

CLASON
v.
INDIANA



APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA.

Hughes, McReynolds, Butler, Stone, Roberts, Black, Reed, Frankfurter

Author: Mcreynolds

[ 306 U.S. Page 440]

 MR. JUSTICE McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Supreme Court of Indiana affirmed a judgment which convicted appellant of violating section eleven of the Animals Disposal Act approved March 12, 1937*fn1 (c. 278, Acts 1937) by transporting a dead horse over a highway of that State and into Illinois without license. Forbidden

[ 306 U.S. Page 441]

     transportation is admitted; also that while license can be obtained under prescribed conditions for such transportation within the State it is prohibited for points outside.

Section eleven is a part of a comprehensive statute which requires, and undertakes to regulate, the prompt

[ 306 U.S. Page 442]

     disposition of large dead animals (not slaughtered for human food) under the general supervision of the State Veterinarian. The obvious purpose of the enactment is to prevent the spread of disease and the development of nuisances.

The prescribed plan exacts that within twenty-four hours after death owners shall bury or burn such bodies on their premises, or there deliver them to the representative of a disposal plant licensed to do business within the State. It further directs that the body shall be promptly carried to such plant in a sanitary vehicle and speedily rendered innocuous. The conveyance must be thoroughly and promptly disinfected at the plant.

The validity of the statute was unsuccessfully challenged on the ground that it unduly discriminates against and burdens interstate commerce and thereby violates the Federal Constitution. The Supreme Court of the State reviewed the statute; pointed out its purpose to suppress obvious danger to public health; referred to the means adopted as reasonably appropriate to that end; quoted from Bowman v. Chicago & N. W. Ry. Co., 125 U.S. 465, 489.*fn2 It concluded that dead bodies of animals not

[ 306 U.S. Page 443]

     slaughtered for food are not legitimate subjects of commerce; that the statute is an appropriate sanitary measure whose effect upon ...


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