Ecuador's High Court Rules Wild Animals Have Legal Rights
The landmark case involved a deceased woolly monkey named Estrellita
April 11, 2022
Ecuador's high court has ruled that wild animals possess the legal right to exist, develop their innate instincts, and be free from disproportionate cruelty, fear, and distress, reports Katie Surma for Inside Climate News.
The landmark decision occurred in February after Ecuador's top court interpreted the country's "rights of nature" constitutional laws in a case involving a woolly monkey name Estrellita, Science Alert's Tessa Koumoundouros reports. "Rights of nature" are laws that establish an ecosystem's legal right to exist and regenerate.
Ecuador is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, with 26 distinguished habitat types and 20 percent of the planet's bird diversity. In 2008, Ecuador became the first country to recognize the rights of nature at a constitutional level, but it was not clear if the ruling covered animals.