In this file:
· First-ever animal rights lawsuit filed on behalf of zoo elephants
… That’s the argument being made by the Nonhuman Rights Project… on behalf of captive elephants in Connecticut…
· Animal rights groups demand action against Iowa fur farm
… animal rights groups are calling for rescue of the animals, revocation of the farm’s federal license and fines for neglect…
First-ever animal rights lawsuit filed on behalf of zoo elephants
By Chris Perez, New York Post
November 13, 2017
Pachyderms are people, too.
That’s the argument being made by the Nonhuman Rights Project, which filed the first-ever animal rights lawsuit this week on behalf of captive elephants in Connecticut — claiming they are legal “persons” who deserve to be in sanctuaries, not zoos.
The nonprofit organization believes that because the creatures are autonomous beings, who live “emotionally, socially, and cognitively complex lives,” they have a fundamental right to be set free from the Commerford Zoo in Goshen.
Lawyers for the group are specifically requesting that their “elephant clients” — Beulah, Karen and Minnie — be released and sent the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s ARK 2000 natural habitat sanctuary in California, “where their right to bodily liberty will be respected.”
They announced the filing on Monday in a press release, saying they were seeking a common law writ of habeas corpus in Connecticut Superior Court.
“This is not an animal welfare case,” explained attorney Steven M. Wise, president and founder of the NhRP.
“We do not claim the Commerford Zoo is violating any animal welfare statutes,” he said. “What they are doing is depriving Beulah, Karen, and Minnie of their freedom, which we see as an inherently cruel violation of their most fundamental right as elephants. If Connecticut common law courts truly value autonomy, as previous rulings suggest they do, they too will see their situation in this light and order the elephants’ release from captivity. ”
The NhRP says it has been working with “world-renowned elephant experts” to...
Animal rights groups demand action against Iowa fur farm
Newton Daily News
Nov. 13, 2017
DES MOINES (AP) — Federal inspectors have repeatedly ordered a southeast Iowa fur farm to improve the grim living conditions for ferrets, foxes, raccoons and skunks it sells to government laboratories and pet stores.
Many of the animals have been forced to live in sweltering heat or maggot-infested filth, sometimes with decomposing carcasses in their cages, officials found over the last two years.
So far no charges or enforcement action has been taken against the Ruby Fur Farm near New Sharon, 65 miles southeast of Des Moines. However, animal rights groups are calling for rescue of the animals, revocation of the farm’s federal license and fines for neglect.
U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors documented the most recent problems when they returned to the farm seven times between December and August after finding suffering animals.
A building housing 290 raccoons reached 100 degrees in July, with many of the animals panting and drooling and 26 in “severe heat distress,” according to a July 21 inspection report.
Reports from 2015 show injured or sick raccoons as well as skunks and ferrets that didn’t receive veterinary treatment. In one cage a skunk was found living with its dead cage-mate.
A December 2016 report noted: “One dead, decomposing, headless juvenile ferret was found incorporated into the fecal material buildup on the wire floor in the corner of the cage,” which also housed a live adult and six juvenile ferrets.
Federal contracts show that even as USDA inspectors were writing up the reports about the farm’s treatment of raccoons, the agency was signing contracts to buy animals from the company for research. It spent nearly $30,000 in June and December of 2015 and in July 2016.
The business since 2007 received more than $67,000 from USDA contracts to provide skunks, raccoons, and foxes. USDA has expansive research enterprises with divisions that focus on food safety, animal health and food production improvements. One of the contracts indicates raccoons were obtained by a USDA lab in Colorado focusing on wildlife diseases, and another noted young foxes would be used as “research models.”
The farm is licensed to...