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Nonhuman Rights Project October 2013 Update
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

From Nonhuman Rights Project
October 2013

We are now very close to a final decision on where the first case will be filed and who will be the plaintiff. And by the end of the meeting, we were able to say that everything is on track to file suit before the end of this year....For reasons related to the case itself, we won't be able to announce the name of the plaintiff until we actually file the suit. We hope you understand that this is in the best interest of the plaintiff. The one thing we can, however, say is that we plan for this first one to be a chimpanzee.

Legal Meetings and Decisions: The legal committee met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the ins-and-outs of our upcoming case, including the legal merits of our key arguments in multiple states.

We are now very close to a final decision on where the first case will be filed and who will be the plaintiff. And by the end of the meeting, we were able to say that everything is on track to file suit before the end of this year.

For reasons related to the case itself, we won't be able to announce the name of the plaintiff until we actually file the suit. We hope you understand that this is in the best interest of the plaintiff. The one thing we can, however, say is that we plan for this first one to be a chimpanzee.

State-by-State Updates: The research on the legal ins-and-outs of each state has been extensive, and we've been posting brief summaries on the State-by-State section of the website, along with examples of the kinds of animals who might make suitable plaintiffs. We hope this will give you a rough idea of the kinds of issues we've been exploring as we examine each state's jurisprudence and how it might affect the kind of case we'd be filing. (There are still six states to be posted, so we should have the entire map completed in the next two or three weeks.)

Understanding the Legal Ins-and-Outs: In an ongoing video project with Gooseberry Productions, NhRP President Steve Wise tackles some of the basic questions regarding our efforts to gain legal personhood for certain nonhuman species. Who belongs in the "moral community?" Are all rights the same? How do liberty rights differ from equality rights? Isn't this all just a slippery slope? And, how do we find the right judge?

Lawyer2Lawyer: Steve also went on the weekly podcast Lawyer2Lawyer with J. Craig Williams and Robert Ambrogi to make the case for the Nonhuman Rights Project. You can listen to their half-hour discussion here.

Why Are "Experts" So Confused? As we prepare to file the first lawsuit, media outlets are writing more and more about personhood, and are inviting "experts" on all sides to comment. Many of these people seem to be quite confused about legal rights for nonhuman animals. Some of them, for example, keep saying that we're demanding "human rights" for nonhuman animals. (As we keep responding: human rights are for humans, chimpanzee rights are for chimpanzees!) We can't help but wonder: Is some of this confusion deliberate? Could it be a deliberate sleight-of-hand maneuver to protect their own interests?

Also in the News:

Lorien House, Volunteer of the Month: Lorien, a past member of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Animals and the Law, began helping the NhRP by researching habeas corpus issues. She is now using her skills to follow developments in international animal law, along with the NIH's recent decision to retire the vast majority of their chimpanzees. Thanks so much for all of your hard work, Lorien.

Victory for Belugas: The U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) denied the Georgia Aquarium's application to import 18 beluga whales, captured from the ocean, and share them around the country with other marine zoos and circuses. The Georgia Aquarium has appealed the decision, so the fate of the beluga's, who are still technically "owned" by the Georgia Aquarium, is currently up in the air.

Thank you for your support of the Nonhuman Rights Project. Your donations will greatly help our efforts to establish personhood for nonhuman animals.


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