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Attorney Clayton Ruby Takes City to Court Over Suffering of Elephant Lucy at Valley Zoo; News Conference Slated
For Immediate Release:January 29, 2010
Contact:Lisa Wathne 757-622-7382
Edmonton, Alberta -- On behalf of PETA and Zoocheck, respected attorney Clayton Ruby will initiate legal action against the city of Edmonton over the conditions under which an ailing elephant named Lucy is forced to live at Edmonton's Valley Zoo--conditions that the groups say are cruel and unlawful. In a letter sent to Mayor Stephen Mandel in October, PETA and Zoocheck warned that legal action would be taken against the city in an effort to seek enforcement of Alberta's Animal Protection Act if Lucy's distress was not relieved. Ruby, along with representatives of PETA and Zoocheck, will discuss the case at a news conference on Monday after the application for declaratory judgment is filed in Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench:
When: Monday, February 1, 1 p.m.
Where: Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre (Lethbridge Room), intersection of 119th Street N.W. and Kingsway Avenue N.W., Edmonton
Lucy's health issues--which include upper respiratory problems, arthritis, obesity, and chronic foot ailments--are the result of the substandard conditions at the Valley Zoo and are further aggravated by the region's frigid climate, which is ill-suited to an Asian elephant. Lucy has also been alone for the past two years, spends most of her time in a small barn, and exhibits behaviour that indicates severe psychological distress. Consultations with experts have convinced PETA and Zoocheck that Lucy's life is at risk in Edmonton, and no evidence has been presented to show that there is a greater than normal risk in moving her to a suitable sanctuary. Even Dr. James Oosterhuis, the Valley Zoo's own consultant, acknowledged that the zoo's indoor facilities fail to meet the industry's minimum standards.
"Edmonton seems prepared to squander vast sums of taxpayer money to defend a heartless position that ignores Lucy's suffering and denies her any chance of happiness," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "If Lucy is ever to be healthy and happy, she must be transferred to a sanctuary, where she'll receive the love, care, and companionship that she is currently denied."
For more information, including the originating notice requesting declaratory relief and expert affidavits filed with the notice, please visit PETA.org.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.