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One Step Closer to Protection for Animals in Rhode Island Courts

One Step Closer to Protection for Animals in Rhode Island Courts

Last month, the Rhode Island Senate voted to create a role for advocates with the authority to represent animals’ best interests in court, as I wrote in “Rhode Island May Provide Advocates for Animals in Court Cases.”

This month, the General Assembly also approved the bill and submitted it to Government Lincoln Chafee for his signature.

Right now, with exceedingly few exceptions, animals’ interests are not represented in courts across the country. Under the proposed Rhode Island legislation, animals would have representatives like the guardians ad litem whose role is to stand up for children’s welfare when it is at stake in a court case.

It is a very hopeful sign for non-human animals that both houses of a state legislature recognized that they have interests deserving of protection, and that their welfare matters.

Related Stories:

Rhode Island May Provide Advocates for Animals in Court Cases

A Bill of Rights for Animals?

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Photo credit: iStockphoto

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71 comments

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5:41AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

I hope other states follow this example.

5:50AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

6:17PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

If you also indulge in "snap trapping" mice, I'd like to see that happen to you and you can explain why that's not a crime and cruelty

6:15PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

Kevin W. I disagree, as I see it, animals deserve far more rights than the less evolved humans. This should be enshrined in any so called human "constitution"

8:20PM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ---St. Francis of Assisi..."

3:39AM PDT on Jun 30, 2012

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

"Die Größe eines Volkes und seine moralischen Fortschritte können daran gemessen werden, wie es seine Tiere behandelt."

Those who are cruel to animals cannot be righteous human beings.

Wer gegen Tiere grausam ist, kann kein guter Mensch sein.

9:44AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Good lord, I sure hope this type of thing doesn't spread to other states. I can just imagine swatting a fly, stomping a cockroach or snap trapping a mouse and having to hire a defense team to go up against the deceased animal's legal representative. Can someone explain to me how animals have "legal rights" when all of our rights are derived from the U.S. Constitution and the word animal is not mentioned in that document.

1:34PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Woo bring on the progress! Hopefully more states will take this on and other countries around the world, animals need a voice when their rights have been infringed!

1:53AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Go Rhode Island!!!!! Animals deserve protection too!

4:12PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

YES! Animals do have rights and society should recognize this and have legislation in govt reflecting this and protecting them. I pray RI succeeds and all states to follow suit.

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