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Non-Human Rights Project Litigates Over Zoo Elephant


Egg-NewsThe Non-Human Rights Project has again appealed adverse verdicts in lower courts to the New York State Court of Appeals. At issue is the release of a 52-year-old elephant from the Bronx Zoo to be transferred to a sanctuary.  The issue of the status of the elephant has profound implications for livestock production.  If the Non-Human Rights Project, that has attempted to establish “personhood” for primates and now an elephant, would create a slippery slope in which livestock and eventually poultry could attain legal status parallel to humans. This would allow animal activists to be appointed by courts to serve as curators and would obviously lead to a ban on raising animals for slaughter and would impact medical research.


Egg-NewsThe elephant in question was brought to the U.S. at one year of age after capture in Asia during the early 1970s. She was transferred to the Bronx Zoo in 1977 and lives in an enclosure of approximately one acre in extent adjacent to a second elephant. The environment allows for foraging, wallowing and other behaviors appropriate for elephants.


The accredited Bronx Zoo, operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, allows the elephant to be well cared for and she is not “illegally imprisoned nor is she a person” according to the attorney representing the facility.


Egg-NewsThe New York Farm Bureau, in addition to state and national associations representing veterinarians, have all filed briefs opposing the appeal by the Non-Human Rights Project. The State Court of Appeals will have to rule on whether the elephant can be granted habeas corpus that would infer personhood and allow a designated curator the right to make decisions on behalf of the elephant as a Britney Spears quadruped with a trunk.