Back in October, we were amazed to see that a court was taking up the question of whether a Bronx Zoo elephant was being illegally detained because the animal, as an “extraordinarily complex” creature, should have human rights.
Today we are happy to report that “Happy,” the Asian elephant, remains an elephant. Bronx Supreme Court Judge Alison Tuitt dismissed the lawsuit brought against the Bronx Zoo by the extremist group the Nonhuman Rights Project.
This is the fifth time the group has lost a fight to claim legal personhood for animals. They seem undeterred by their past failures so an appeal would seem likely, as do future lawsuits.
While this is an absurd story, men and women in the hunting community should keep an eye on these – seemingly ridiculous – claims, as they could set a dangerous precedent for hunting. These groups are all too eager to ignore the benefits that hunting yields in terms of science-backed wildlife population management and industry-funded conservation efforts.
Every time a hunter or sports shooter purchases a firearm or ammunition, a percentage is dedicated to wildlife conservation efforts nationwide through the Pittman-Robertson Act. Conserving these habitats and species is the ultimate animal rights effort. North American wildlife is at the healthiest levels ever, because of the efforts of hunter-conservationists.
Promote, Protect, Preserve
NSSF is working to make sure these extremist views don’t sneak into our communities and that the tradition of hunting is preserved for future generations. That’s why we have worked to ensure hunting as a constitutional right in 23 states, mostly through the ballot box where the majority of voters have a say, not small fringe groups.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation works, and the firearms and ammunition industry supports the sportsman-funded work to sustain and provide public access to resources, all without the bizarre argument that the animals have human rights.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.