Animal Law

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Question 1.
a)Animals are property under the law and therefore they are unable to bring a suit in court for themselves if they are harmed. Standing requires: 1. The plaintiff has suffered an injury in fact 2. The injury is casually related to a known act 3. Redressability. In the case, Citizens to End Animal Suffering and Exploitation v. the New England Aquarium, the court held that the Marine Mammal Protection Act does not allow the requirement of standing to be satisfied in a suit brought by an animal. “The Link” refers to this oppression as being closely linked to slavery. Slaves were also considered to be the property of their owners and in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the court held that descendants of slaves, whether free or slave, could not be citizens and therefore were not entitled to standing in a court. b)The legal basis for denying Dred Scott and Kama standing is that they are both considered property without any rights or interests. Citizens to End Animal Suffering v. New England Aquarium, the court held that Article III does not bar standing for animals; the court said that it must look to the statute to determine if there is standing. The reasoning for the decisions in Kama and Dred Scott can be traced to the economic interest in the animal exploitation industries and also in the slave trade industry. People have an economic interest in any property that they own. The problem with the economic interest in animals, as it was in humans, is that it cannot be denied that animals are substantially different than most other personal property. In the 1835 case Fable v. Brown, the court stated concern for the fact that slaves were considered property but in many cases the law treated them as people such as when they are punished for crimes. There was an obvious difference between slaves as chattel and other chattel. This is also true for nonhuman animals. They are considered property but they are qualitatively different than other personal property; for example, they can feel pain. Common sense tells us that they are different and yet the law treats them just like any other inanimate object. c) In Shaw v. Ward, the court supported a slave’s right to be a beneficiary of a trust. After the Dred Scott case, the law was becoming increasingly aware of the hypocrisy of treating slaves as both property and non-property at the same time. Currently, it is up to individuals and/or organizations to bring civil suits when an animal needs protection. There is a lot of difficulty for those bringing the suit to prove an injury in fact. Attempting to prove injury in fact by claiming a financial interest as a taxpayer or by claiming a personal interest in ethical treatment of animals does not suffice. In the case, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v. Ringling Brothers and Barnun & Bailey Circus, the plaintiffs sought to stop the abuse of the circus elephants and the pled standing based on injury to one of the plaintiffs, personally. There was a claim of aesthetic injury based on emotional attachment and based on it, the court held that there was an injury in fact. However, the court did not concern itself with the elephant’s condition. In the case, Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Glickman, the court held that an individual who went to the zoo repeatedly to see particular animals was injured aesthetically by seeing the animals suffer. The plaintiff challenged the USDA for failing to abide by the Animal Welfare Act of 1985. The court found that there was a continuing injury (since past injuries are not adequate) and therefore the plaintiff had standing. In HSUS v. Hodel, the court held that the HSUS had standing based on aesthetic interests. While most cases involve aesthetic injury, the case of Humane Society of the US v. US Postal Service, established a possibility for animal protection groups to have standing. The court required that the organization needs to satisfy...
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