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Hawaii Considers Granting Legal Personhood to Mauna Kea

Hawaii House Bill 693 would grant Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, legal personhood.

Idaho Bill Would Block Legal Personhood Status for Animals

Idaho House Bill 647 would prohibit the establishment of legal personhood for environmental elements, animals, artificial intelligence, and inanimate objects. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on State Affairs.

Idaho Bill Would Block Legal Personhood for Animals and the Environment

Idaho House Bill 720, an amended version of House Bill 647, would declare that “environmental elements, artificial intelligence, nonhuman animals, and inanimate objects shall not be granted personhood in the state of Idaho.” The bill, which was amended to clarify that municipalities, corporations, and other legal entities would retain their legal person status, has been referred to the House Committee on State Affairs.

Missouri Bill Would Eliminate Standing for Animal and Environmental Organizations

Missouri House Bill 1463, the “Protection of Missouri Farms and Private Property Act,” would broadly eliminate judicial standing for individuals or organizations who represent nature, animals, or ecosystems in civil actions. The bill would prevent any plaintiff from bringing a civil action on behalf of a non-human and would not allow any being meeting the definition of “nature” or “ecosystem” to be a plaintiff in its own right in any court in Missouri.

Article Explores Impact of Court’s Recognition of Hippopotamuses as Legal Persons

Olsen, K., For the first time, U.S. court recognizes animals as legal persons, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (October 29, 2021).

Islamabad High Court Holds That Nonhuman Animals Have Legal Rights

The Islamabad High Court in Pakistan has ruled that an elephant held in solitary captivity must be released to a sanctuary and affirmed that animals have “legal rights.”

New York Court Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Happy the Elephant

New York Supreme Court Justice Tuitt has “regretfully” denied the Nonhuman Rights Project’s request for habeas corpus relief for an elephant named Happy currently confined to the Bronx Zoo. The decision was based on binding precedent by the state’s Appellate Division. The Nonhuman Rights Project has stated it will appeal the decision.

New York Legislation Would Recognize Animals as Victims of Crime

New York Assembly Bill 4609 would recognize that animals are sentient beings capable of experiencing pain and fear and would establish that an animal can be a victim of a crime.

Courts in Spain Will Consider Best Interests of the Animal When Making Custody Decisions

According to a new law in Spain, courts must treat companion animals as sentient beings, rather than as property of one partner or the other, when making custody decisions during divorce proceedings. Courts now must consider the animal’s welfare in making these custody decisions. Spain’s new law follows similar changes in France and Portugal.

Swiss Voters will Decide on a Total Ban on Animal Testing in February

Switzerland will consider a nationwide ban on animal testing and the import of products tested on animals during a vote that is scheduled for February 13, 2022. The ban would apply to all animal testing and experiments, including those for scientific purposes. On the same day, residents of the canton of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland, will vote on a controversial referendum to establish fundamental rights for primates.