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Court denies freedom to elephant Happy because she is not a person

Court denies freedom to elephant Happy because she is not a person

More and more people join the laws advancing in favor of animal rights and little by little they have obtained a response, since they not only want to create awareness in society, but also seek the total prohibition of any types of shows that cause damage and suffering.

In addition, another issue that concerns organizations for the welfare of animals is to provide a better quality of life for any species. But can you imagine that before the law they were considered as people?

Happy the elephant they want to be released

Although it is a question that sounds a bit strange, a group of activists thought it was something worth considering, so they presented the case of Happy, an elephant who they claimed should be considered a legal person, to a court in New York. and taken to a sanctuary. However, the court concluded that it is not possible to grant that request.

Happy is a 51-year-old Asian elephant who has lived for more than 40 years at the Bronx Zoo in New York. That is why in 2018, the Nonhuman Rights Project, a Florida-based animal civil rights organization, argued before the New York Supreme Court, under the order of habeas corpusthat the elephant was illegally detained at the zoo, so she should be recognized as a legal person and sent to a sanctuary where she can move freely.

activists at the Bronx Zoo, New York for Happy to be released

After several rejections in its request, on May 18, 2021, the New York Court of Appeals agreed to hear the case presented by the organization for animals and this June 14 published the sentence, which, with five votes in favor and two against, concluded that in a legal sense, the elephant is not a person, therefore, she has no option to a fundamental human right.

The sentence explained that the habeas corpus It is known as the human right not to be illegally detained and that despite the intelligence that an elephant may present, that order only applies to human beings.

photograph of an elephant in a zoo

No one disputes the impressive capabilities of elephants, but we deny the request that habeas corpus be applied in Happy’s name. ‘Habeas corpus’ is a vehicle that seeks to secure the freedom of detained humans, not non-human animals.

– Janet DiFiore, lead judge in the case

Regarded as the animal rights case that has reached the highest instances in the United States, the appellate court argued that if granted that right, that would mean that Happy would have to appear before the Court to defend himself, so he would be would consider as a person.

In addition, the judge assured that releasing the elephant would bring with it a wave of petitions and demands from people asking to release animals, including pets and service animals, which would cause a huge destabilizing impact on modern society.

Although she was not considered as a person, the activists commented that Happy is not living in her natural habitat, which does not allow her to live with self-determination as an autonomous elephant in the wild, to which it was replied that the elephant is She is very well cared for and in excellent health.

woman with a sign asking for an elephant to be released

Despite the sentence presented by the court, it is possible that the dispute over the case will continue to advance in the United States courts, since the civil organization assured that it will continue in the fight for Happy’s release.


What do you think?

Written by Ashly le Roi

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