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”
by Michelle C. Pardo
We previously blogged about the Oregon negligence lawsuit that animal activist group Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) brought on behalf of “Justice” — an American Quarter Horse — and his self-described “guardian” against the horse’s former owner. Back in 2017, Justice (formerly named “Shadow” and renamed ostensibly for this lawsuit) was removed from his prior owner’s care for neglect and relocated to a new caretaker. Months later, Justice’s former owner pleaded guilty to first degree animal neglect and was ordered to pay for the cost of Justice’s care prior to July, 2017. Continue reading “Oregon Court of Appeals Rules Animals Are Not Entitled to Legal Personhood”
Today, in a major blow to animal rights and nonhuman animal “personhood” advocates, the New York Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 decision, rejected the effort by the NonHuman Rights Project (NhRP) to employ the common law writ of habeas corpus to free an Asian elephant named “Happy” from the Bronx Zoo. In re Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Breheny, No. 52 (N.Y. June 14, 2022). The case caps a long line of baseless efforts by NhRP in New York to obtain habeas relief for animals. Continue reading “New York’s Highest Court Declares that Elephants are NOT “Legal Persons””
Animal rights activists have pointed to a recent decision by the highest court in Ecuador — the Constitutional Court (Corte Constitucional Del Ecuador) — as a breakthrough for animal rights. As the NonHuman Rights Project (NHRP) described it, the decision “constitutes one of the most important advances in the field of animal rights and environmental law in recent years. . . . The Court’s groundbreaking ruling advances the constitutional protection of animals — ranging from the level of species to the individual animal — with their own inherent value and needs.”
Upon closer examination, the Court’s Final Judgment is not as far-reaching as has been claimed. Continue reading “Ecuadorian Animal Rights Decision is Mixed Bag”
On February 13, as millions of people in the U.S. prepared for and watched the Super Bowl, voters in Switzerland rejected two significant animal rights initiatives. As reported (here and here) by SWI swissinfo.ch — the international unit of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation — the proposed measures included a country-wide ban on animal testing and a measure that would have given non-primate humans certain rights in the canton of Basel-Stadt. Continue reading “Two Major Animal Rights Initiatives Rejected in Switzerland”
On December 17, 2020, a New York intermediate appellate court rejected an attempt by the animal rights organization, Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), to obtain habeas corpus relief for a 48-year old Asian elephant named “Happy,” who resides at the Bronx Zoo. In re Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Breheny, Case No. 2020-02581 (Sup. Ct. App. Div. 1st Dept. Dec. 17, 2020). Continue reading “Denial of Habeas Relief for Bronx Zoo Elephant Affirmed on Appeal”
by John M. Simpson.
The Connecticut Appellate Court recently rejected yet another attempt by the animal rights group Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. (NHRP) to free an elephant in private ownership through the device of a petition for habeas corpus. Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. R. W. Commerford & Sons, Inc., No. AC 42795 (Conn. App. May 19, 2020). Continue reading “Habeas Corpus Petition For Elephant Strikes Out Again”
by John M. Simpson.
On February 18, 2020, a trial court in Bronx County, New York, denied a habeas corpus petition filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) on behalf of “Happy,” a 48-year old Asian elephant residing in the Bronx Zoo. Nonhuman Rights Project v. Breheny, No. 260441/19 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Bronx Cty. Feb. 18, 2020). The court ruled, based on binding New York precedent, that “Happy” is not a “person” for purposes of habeas corpus relief. Continue reading “New York Court Denies Habeas Petition for Bronx Zoo Elephant”
by Michelle C. Pardo
We previously blogged about the animal rights’ movement’s attempts to convince various U.S. courts to allow animals the same rights as people in the court system. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s (PETA’s) failed “monkey selfie” case, an effort to convince a federal court to rule that the crested macaque had standing under the Copyright Act, was not only dismissed, but earned PETA a sharp rebuke from the Ninth Circuit, when the court determined that the activist group seemingly employed Naruto the monkey as “an unwitting pawn it its ideological goals.” Now PETA has taken its “animal personhood” crusade internationally. Continue reading “This Little Piggy Went to Court”
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”