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article imageWhales not slaves rules judge in PETA - SeaWorld case

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 9, 2012 in World
San Diego - Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises cannot claim rights under the 13th Amendment as they are whales, not human, a judge ruled in the first ever case which considered the constitutional rights of animals.
The [i]lawsuit brought by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against SeaWorld has flopped in court, as the judge dismissed the case, ruling that whales are not people and thus cannot be enslaved. The unique case, in which five whales were named as plaintiffs, had been deemed baseless by SeaWorld.
Lawyers for Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises had presented their case based on the a violation of the 13th Amendment pertaining to slavery. TVNZ reported US District Judge Jeffrey Miller ruled that "The only reasonable interpretation of the 13th Amendment's plain language is that it applies to persons, and not to non-persons such as orcas. Both historic and contemporary sources reveal that the term 'slavery' and 'involuntary servitude' refer only to persons."
However, Judge Miller did add that animals "have legal rights under state and federal statutes, including criminal laws" and commended PETA's decision attempt to protect animals through the lawsuit as "laudable."
PETA attorney Jeffrey Kerr issued a statement saying "Today's decision does not change the fact that the orcas who once lived naturally wild and free, are today kept as slaves by SeaWorld. PETA will regroup and determine how to continue to work for the legal protection they deserve" the Orlando Sentinel reported.
More about whales not slaves, Peta, Seaworld, Tilikum
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