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Happy World Wildlife Day!

March 03, 2017 | Wildlife Law Program

Happy World Wildlife Day, a day proclaimed by the United Nations in 2013! This year the theme is “Listen to the Young Voices.” Given that almost one quarter of the world’s population is aged between 10 and 24, vigorous efforts need to be made to encourage these future decision makers to act locally and global levels to protect wildlife.

To #DoOneThingToday to celebrate, sign up a young person (#youthforwildlife) you know to become a member of Friends of Animals. A student membership is just $15 a year, and it will help support our crucial Wildlife Law Program (WLP). Click here to learn more about our WLP:

● Friends of Animals’ innovative Wildlife Law Program bridges the gap between animal and environmental activism. Animal advocates often fail to utilize the array of state, local, federal and international environmental laws as a means to protect the rights of animals to live free from human interference. The mission of our WLP is to use the law to ensure the right to all wildlife to live in an ecosystem—its natural home—free from human manipulation, exploitation or abuse.

● The WLP handles a dozen or more lawsuits at a time. Recent victories include winning several cases to protect America’s wild horses on public lands; and winning Endangered Species Act protections for scalloped hammerhead sharks, the first species of shark to be protected by the ESA. The WLP has also won ESA protections for endangered macaw parrots and ancient fish called sturgeons. And in September of 2016, FoA intervened and a federal judge upheld the USFWS’ ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe.

● WLP director Michael Harris, recently drafted “Cecil’s Law,” which will prevent the trophies of Africa’s Big 5 species—lions, leopards, elephants and black and white rhinos, from being imported into the United States. The law is currently working its way through New York and Connecticut legislatures and will be introduced in other states.

● In January, the WLP launched the Right to Ethical Consideration Project, which will create a new frontier in animal law, thanks to the support of renowned scholar and philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum. The goal of this pioneering project is to establish standing for non-human animals in the eyes of the law and a right to ethical consideration for all animals. The Right to Ethical Consideration Project will combine Nussbaum’s philosophical component with scientific and legal components in papers, presentations and litigation. In doing so, the goal is to establish tactics that are superior in directing ethical attention and legal strategy than past approaches.

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