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Pxxa Claims SeaWorld Enslaves Whales In Violation Of 13th Amendment

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PETA's killer whale 'enslavement' lawsuit goes to court



By the CNN Wire Staff


updated 4:04 AM EST, Mon February 6, 2012




(CNN) -- Lawyers for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will face off against those with SeaWorld in a Southern California federal court Monday after the animal rights group filed a lawsuit to declare that five killer whales are being held in slavery or involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment.

SeaWorld has called the lawsuit a baseless publicity stunt by PETA, which is known for provocative advertisements and public demonstrations on behalf of animal rights.


PETA filed the 20-page compalint in October on behalf of the whales -- Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises.


A PETA statement at the time contended that constitutional protections against slavery are not limited to humans.


PETA: SeaWorld enslaves killer whales


"Plaintiffs were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for defendants' shows, and forced to perform, all for defendants' profit," the lawsuit states, arguing that those conditions amount to enslavement and/or forced servitude.


At the heart of the lawsuit is the question of whether a non-human entity can sue for a violation of constitutional rights.


The 13th Amendment outlaws slavery and "involuntary servitude" in the United States without any specific mention that it applies only to people.


"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction," the amendment's first section states.


In its statement, PETA called the lawsuit "the first ever seeking to apply the Thirteenth Amendment to non-human animals."


The lawsuit seeks an order for the release of the whales "from bondage" and a permanent order against holding them in slavery, as well as appointment of a legal guardian to carry out the transfer of the whales to a suitable habitat. It also seeks attorneys' fees and costs.


In a statement responding to the lawsuit, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment said in October that the court case challenges "the public's right to enjoy and learn more about marine mammals."


"This effort to extend the Thirteenth Amendment's solemn protections beyond human beings is baseless and in many ways offensive," the statement said.


SeaWorld is "among the world's most respected zoological institutions," it continues, adding that SeaWorld parks "are fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums" with legal permission to display marine mammals.


"PETA has once again showed that it prefers publicity stunts to the hard work of caring for, rescuing and helping animals," the SeaWorld statement said.


State and federal courts have traditionally understood laws dealing with animal ownership and cruelty as applying only to human actions, meaning the animals themselves could neither be prosecuted nor act as plaintiffs or defendants.

That would include litigation and legislation involving hunting and breeding of animals and plants, as well as zoo and circus displays.

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Why would this lawsuit even get this far? If I were the judge, I would have thrown it out. :dismay:




Sometimes - I am not saying the Pxxa claim is a case of first impression - the courts will hear novel cases that seem bizarre.





Definition - case of first impression



case of first impression n. a case in which a question of interpretation of law is presented which has never arisen before in any reported case. Sometimes, it is only of first impression in the particular state or jurisdiction, so decisions from other states or the federal courts may be examined as a guideline.



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I'm not a fan of PETA at all BUT I think all whales and dolphins should be set free. believe it or not supplying all of these places with whales and dolphins is a big money business to the folks who capture and ship them. I recently saw a documentary on this very subject. You want to see whales and dolphins,get on a whale watching boat. you want to swim with dolphins jump over the side. :mad:


Free Willy and his buds!!!!!

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I am not a tree hugger but I see no use for aquariums or zoo's you want to see a ******* bengal tiger go to asia or india.


You want to see a whale, go to the ******* ocean.


You want to see a monkey go to the Congo.


All animals should be protected as to not go extinct, and should be free to roam where they please.


I would like to see all zoo's closed and aquariums.

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It's true... Back in my PG days I was screaming about him 4 years ago... I knew about him long before that because of my studies but he is a little snake and our regulatory czar.


He is scum of the earth, he is a dirty little freak. :)

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