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A US District Court Has Formally Recognized Colombian Hippos as Legal Entities

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US District Court Has Formally Recognized Colombian Hippos as Legal Entities

In October of this year, a US court finally pronounced animals to be legal entities. The case was taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. A local animal welfare campaign, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), has petitioned to depose two non-surgical sterilization specialists, doctors Elizabeth Berkley and Richard Berlinski.

The experts are to appear on behalf of the plaintiffs, who are described as “animals living by the Magdalena River”.

In a case where hippos are legal persons, the US District Court granted the application under 28 U.S.C. § 1782. Hippos were therefore recognized as legal persons in accordance with the Act.

As Colombia considers hippos to be a legitimate party to the case, the ALDF considers them to be an interested side under the law.

Animals as Legal Entities

According to a Court Ruling, Animals Are Now Legal Entities

The animals must have the right to freedom and must not succumb to cruel treatment by humans.

The court’s judgment allowing hippos to exercise their legal right to obtain information in the US is the first step towards recognizing animals as legal subjects.

In July 2020, attorney Luis Domingo GĂłmez Maldonado filed a lawsuit in Colombia to try to stop the authorities from killing the estimated 100 hippos that now live along the Magdalena River. On 15 October 2021, the local environmental protection agency began giving the hippos a contraceptive without proof of safety.

Magdelena River hippos

It is not known how many hippos the government intended to murder.

Now the evidence from Berkeley and Berlinski doctors is to be used to build more support for the use of proven contraception instead of exterminating the Magdelena River hippos.

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