Nonhuman Rights Project Loses Another Habeas Case for Elephants

As we have reported previously (here, here, here, here), an animal rights group called the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) has a history of filing fruitless cases to establish that animals should have the same basic rights as people.  NhRP has used the common law and statutory writ of habeas corpus in an effort to “liberate” elephants and apes from various U.S. zoos and other facilities.  None of these cases has succeeded.  The most recent failure occurred this month in Colorado where a state court judge denied a habeas writ with respect to five African elephants residing at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society.  Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society, et al., No. 23CV31236 (Colo. Dist Ct., El Paso County Dec. 3, 2023). Continue reading “Nonhuman Rights Project Loses Another Habeas Case for Elephants”

Animal Rights Challenge to FWS Sport Trophy Decision Fails in D.C. Circuit

by John M. Simpson.

In Center for Biological Diversity v. Bernhardt, ___ F.3d ___, No. 19-5152 (D.C. Cir. June 16, 2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently affirmed a district court’s rejection of a challenge by animal rights groups to a decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to withdraw blanket findings as to whether the importation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of certain sport trophies of “threatened” species taken in other countries would enhance the survival and not be detrimental to the survival of those species. Continue reading “Animal Rights Challenge to FWS Sport Trophy Decision Fails in D.C. Circuit”

Update on Elephant Habeas Corpus Case

by John M. Simpson.

We recently reported on a case in which an animal rights group, the Nonhuman Rights Project,  sought habeas corpus relief for three Asian elephants maintained in a zoo in Connecticut.  The Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed the lower court’s judgment and ruled that the plaintiff had no standing  because the elephants themselves had no standing. Continue reading “Update on Elephant Habeas Corpus Case”

Lions and Tigers and Bears (No Way!): New Jersey Bans Exotic Animals in Traveling Shows

by Michelle C. Pardo

Last week, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to enact a law prohibiting the use of elephants and other wild or exotic animals in traveling animal acts.  Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill authorizing the statewide ban after it received a significant margin of votes in the Legislature.  The bill had passed last session but was pocket vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. Continue reading “Lions and Tigers and Bears (No Way!): New Jersey Bans Exotic Animals in Traveling Shows”

Court Denies Habeas Petition Filed on Behalf of Elephants

By John M. Simpson

A Connecticut Superior Court Judge recently issued an opinion further elaborating on his prior decision to deny a petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed on behalf of three elephants (two Asian and one African) owned by a zoo in Connecticut.  Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. ex rel. Beulah, Minnie and Karen v. R.W. Commerford & Sons, Inc., No. LLICV175009822S, 2018 WL 3014069 (Conn. Super Ct. May 23, 2018).  The action had been brought on behalf of the elephants “Beulah,” “Minnie” and “Karen” by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NHRP), arguing that the animals possessed emotional, social and intellectual attributes sufficient for common law personhood and for the common law right to the bodily liberty protected by the writ.  The May 23 decision expanded upon the reasons why the court previously had found the habeas petition to be “wholly frivolous on its face.” Continue reading “Court Denies Habeas Petition Filed on Behalf of Elephants”

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