Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

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Ecuador Gives Legal Rights to Wild Animals

The highest court of the country ruled in favour of a case that focused on a woolly monkey that passed away after being taken to a zoo from its home.

animal rights

Animal rights are the rights of animals to live free from human exploitation and abuse. These rights come in direct opposition to animal exploitation and cover animals used by humans for a variety of reasons.

One country has taken a step in that direction by becoming the first in the world to give legal rights to wild animals.

In Ecuador, the highest court of the country ruled in favour of a case that focused on a woolly monkey that passed away after being taken to a zoo from its home.

Estrellita, a woolly monkey taken from the wild when she was one month old and kept as a pet, died a month after it was moved to the zoo, reports Inside Climate News.

The court decided to rule in favour of Estrellita and said that her rights had been violated by the government. The court added that the animal’s rights were also violated by the owner when she removed her from her natural habitat at a young age.

Harvard law professor, Kristen Stilt, while speaking to Inside Climate News about the importance of Ecuador’s ruling, said, “What makes this decision so important is that now the rights of nature can be used to benefit small groups or individual animals. That makes rights of nature a far more powerful tool than perhaps we have seen before.”

According to WAP (World Animal Protection), 1.6 trillion wild animals are traded every year — dead or alive — and an end to the trade would protect Africa’s wildlife from cruelty and exploitation.

WAP’s investigations exposed shocking images of African grey parrots pulling their feathers out, cheetah cubs dead from dehydration and lions so thin that their ribs protruded, locked in cramped cages waiting to be shipped out, undetected.

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