There is nothing like an animal rights case to get everyone upset. There are those who passionately believe that many of our practices in zoos and elsewhere are barbaric. There are others who believe that we are actually quite humane in almost all zoos giving children a chance to see animals that they would never have the opportunity to see and at the same time providing a safe environment for animals sometimes on the brink of extinction. The case of Reece v. Edmonton is in sense a just a case about an elephant, but if you read more there maybe lessons about government too. That is the central argument of a two part  post written by Lydia Guo for The Court. 

“Lucy, a thirty-six-year old Asian elephant in the Edmonton zoo, is loved by everyone from William Shatner to Margaret Atwood. For the last few months, Lucy has found herself embroiled in a legal battle in the province of Alberta.”

Chief Justice Fraser’s dissent takes up important issues, such as standing, and, more importantly, reminds us that this case is not merely about civil procedure: “Lucy’s case raises serious issues not only about how society treats sentient animals…but also about the right of the people in a democracy to ensure that the government itself is not above the law.”

http://www.thecourt.ca/2011/09/13/part-i-reece-v-edmonton-city-what-a-36-year-old-elephant-teaches-us-about-our-relationship-to-animals-and-to-our-government/#comment-301453

http://www.thecourt.ca/2011/09/22/9558/#more-9558  

 


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