Historic Move! Ecuador Becomes First Nation In The World To Provide Legal Rights To Wild Animals

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The Logical Indian Crew

Historic Move! Ecuador Becomes First Nation In The World To Provide Legal Rights To Wild Animals

The judgment was passed by the country's highest court when it heard a case for Estrellita, a woolly monkey who was taken from the wild when she was only one month old and was raised as a pet but died within a month after it was shifted to the zoo.

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At a moment when numerous nations are showing a total disregard for human rights, the government of Ecuador decided to go out of its way and handed legal rights to cover wild animals, making the South American nation the first one in the world to put such a concept into place.

The judgment was passed by the country's highest court when it heard a case for Estrellita, a woolly monkey who was taken from the wild when she was only one month old and was raised as a pet. However, according to Inside Climate News, she died within a month after it was shifted to the zoo.

Ecuador Provides Legal Rights To Wild Animals

Librarian Ana Beatriz Burbano Proaño, who had kept Estrellita as a pet for nearly 18 years, wanted to let her go in 2019 after authorities seized the monkey and moved her to a nearby zoo as owning wild animals as pets in Ecuador is illegal. Only after a month away from her owner, the monkey passed away, following which Proaño decided to file a habeas corpus petition, requesting the court to rule that the rights of the animal were violated.

On the back of this, the court judged that both the Ecuador government and Burbano Proaño violated Estrellita's rights to remove her from her natural habitat at a very young age.

Furthermore, the court also noted that "wild species and their individuals have the right not to be hunted, fished, captured, collected, extracted, kept, retained, trafficked, traded or exchanged," and that these wild animals have specific value not related to their usefulness to humans.

Animal Rights

Right after this judgement was passed, noted environmental lawyer Hugo Echeverría had stated, "This verdict raises animal rights to the level of the constitution, the highest law of Ecuador."

"While rights of nature were enshrined in the constitution, it was not clear prior to this decision whether individual animals could benefit from the rights of nature and be considered rights holders as a part of nature. The court has stated that animals are subject of rights protected by rights of nature," he was quoted as saying by Wion.

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