Ecuador becomes the first country In the world to give legal rights to animals.

In a landmark judgment, Ecuador, sitting in the Andean foothills, became the first country to recognize the legal rights of individual wild animals. This not only marks a remarkable development within the realms of environmental law, but is also the first to extend formal rights towards wild animals.

This is the story of a wild animal monkey named Estrellita. Estrellita was one when she was taken away from the forest illegally; for 18 years thereafter, she was kept as a pet and then taken to a zoo before she died. Her owner, meanwhile, filed a case for the country to recognize Estrellita’s rights, pleading that her removal from her natural habitat violated her dignity.

The verdict builds on a 2008 ruling that set a precedent to recognize nature in itself as a tangible legal entity; which by extension meant that people had a constitutional right to live in a healthy environment. The recent ruling then upholds that even individual animals can exercise this right to live in their natural habitats. The basis cited was such: the animal has a legal right by virtue of its own value, and not the value humans derive from the species.

“The verdict raises animal rights to the level of the constitution, the highest law of Ecuador,” said Ecuadorian environmental lawyer Hugo Echeverría. Some countries (the likes of New Zealand and Canada) have some policies in place offering animals some protection. But arguably, embedding this right within the constitution remains an ideal currently unmatched anywhere else in the world.

Source: https://theswaddle.com


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