Decision 5-2 of the State Court of Appeals comes in a closely monitored case that tested the limits of the application of human rights to animals.
The zoo and its supporters have warned that a victory for supporters at the Nonhuman Rights Project could open the door to more animal welfare action, including pets, farm animals and other zoo species.
The majority of the court reiterated this point.
The ruling, handed down by Chief Justice Janet DiFiore, said that “although no one disputes that elephants are intelligent beings worthy of proper care and compassion”, a habeas corpus warrant is intended to protect human freedom and does not apply to a non-human animal. like Happy.
The ruling upholds a lower court ruling and means that Happy will not be released through a habeas corpus process, which is a way for people to challenge the illegal restriction. Giving this right to Happy to challenge its inclusion in a zoo “would have a huge destabilizing impact on modern society,” the majority decision said.
“Indeed, following its logical conclusion, such a designation would call into question the very conditions governing the ownership of pets, the use of service animals and the recruitment of animals into other forms of work,” the ruling said.
The Bronx Zoo has claimed that Happy is neither an illegal prisoner nor a human being, but a well-groomed elephant “who is respected as the wonderful creature he is”.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Two judges, Rowan Wilson and Jenny Rivera, wrote separate, strongly worded disagreements saying that the fact that Happy is an animal does not prevent her from having legal rights. Rivera wrote that Happy is kept in “an environment unnatural for her and that does not allow her to live her life”.
“Her captivity is inherently unjust and inhumane. It is an insult to a civilized society and every day she remains a captive – a spectacle to the people – and we are reducing it,” Rivera wrote.
The decision of the Supreme Court of New York can not be appealed. The Non-Human Rights Program has failed to prevail in similar cases, including those involving a chimpanzee in upstate New York named Tommy.
The group’s founder, Steven Wise, said he was pleased to have convinced some of the judges. He noted that the group has a similar case in progress in California and more is planned in other states and other countries.
“We will take a very careful look at why we lost and we will try to make sure that this does not happen again as much as we can,” he said.
Happy was born in the wild in Asia in the early 1970s, was arrested and transported as a one-year-old to the United States. Happy arrived at the Bronx Zoo in 1977 with another elephant, Graby, who was fatally injured in a 2002 altercation with two other elephants.
Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Bronx Zoo Asian elephant Happy is not a person, New York high court rules Source link Bronx Zoo Asian elephant Happy is not a person, New York high court rules