Wildlife in Ecuador now has legal rights: a world first

Ecuador once again sets a good example. Fourteen years after enshrining “natural rights” in the constitution, the South American country officially recognizes “separate legal rights” for wildlife. Light on this historic progress.

“Wild animals have the right to exist, develop their innate instincts and be free from cruelty, disproportionate fear and suffering.” Here is the exemplary decision of the Constitutional Court of Ecuador. According to Inside Climate Newsthis is the first time a court has applied separate legal rights to wildlife.

In 2008, the Latin American country already set an example by enshrining ‘natural rights’ in its constitution. An innovative and promising legal status, subsequently adopted by other countries, including Italy and Panama. The extension of nature’s rights to animals is an important new step and a sign of hope for wildlife.

A big step forward

What does this mean in concrete terms? As of now, the Constitutional Court of Ecuador recognizes the right of animals to “not be hunted, fished, caught, collected, mined, preserved, preserved, traded, traded or traded”† She adds that they are not intended “usable” to man.

The right to the free development of their animal behavior, including the guarantee not to be domesticated and not to be forced to assimilate human features or appearances

This new legal status obliges all Ecuadorian institutions to adopt laws and concrete and coherent protocols to this constitutional decree. Example: Avoid keeping an animal in a zoo and find a way to reintegrate it back into its natural environment.

Photo: Shutterstock

A tragic story

This important decision reflects the “Estrellita” case. This female monkey was illegally caught from the wild and then family raised for 18 years. In 2019, she was seized by local authorities and then transferred to a zoo. A shock to the animal that died a month after arriving at the park.

For your information, certain human activities will always be tolerated by the Constitutional Court of Ecuador. This is the case of breeding or fishing for “food” and not for “recreational” purposes.

When will there be a similar legal decision in France?

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