Judge to decide whale 'slavery' case

2012-02-07 11:40

kalahari.com

San Diego - A federal judge heard arguments in a case that could determine whether animals enjoy the same constitutional protection against slavery as human beings.

Sea World asked US District Judge Jeffrey Miller to dismiss the case filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Miller did not make an immediate ruling.

Peta named five orcas that were captured in the wild as plaintiffs and claims they are treated like slaves when forced to perform daily at SeaWorld parks in San Diego and Orlando, Florida.

Peta lawyer Jeffrey Kerr said it was a historic day.

"For the first time in our nation's history, a federal court heard arguments as to whether living, breathing, feeling beings have rights and can be enslaved simply because they happen to not have been born human," he said.

Constitutional rights

He acknowledged the case is an uphill battle but said he hopes the judge will allow it to proceed.

SeaWorld attorney Theodore Shaw countered that the lawsuit ignores common sense and almost 125 years of case law involving the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which abolished slavery. The issue is not about whether the animals have been subjected to abuse, but whether the 13th Amendment applies only to human beings, he said.

The court would be outside its jurisdiction if it ruled in Peta's favour and granted constitutional rights to orcas, Shaw said, warning that such a ruling would have profound implications.

"We're talking about hell unleashed," he said.

If constitutional rights were granted, the ruling could be applied to all animals, including those kept at zoos and aquariums along with dogs that sniff for bombs and drugs for the US government.

"With all due respect, the court does not have the authority to even consider this question," Shaw said. "Neither orcas nor any other animal were included in the 'We the people'... when the constitution was adopted."

Kerr replied that African-Americans and women achieved protection of their rights in cases argued before the courts after the constitution was adopted.
- AP
Read more on:    peta  |  us  |  marine life
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.