Remedies, Standing, Declaratory Relief, Injunctive Relief, Wildlife, Permits, Burden of Proof, Prevention, Jurisdiction, Evidence
Lucy is a 34 year old elephant who lives in the Edmonton Valley Zoo. In recent years Lucy animal welfare activists have campaigned for her transfer to a warmer climate. The Valley Zoo insists Lucy is fine and cannot be safely moved. In February 2010 ZooCheck, PETA, and a local Alberta resident (Tove Reece) filed an Originating Notice in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench seeking a judicial declaration that the City of Edmonton (as operator of the Valley Zoo) was contravening section 2 of the Animal Protection Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. A-41, in its treatment of Lucy at the Valley Zoo. Justice Rooke has granted the City’s motion to strike on the basis that the ZooCheck/PETA application is an abuse of process for two reasons: (1) the application does not conform with the legislative path for bringing this issue to the Court; (2) no individual can bring a civil action to enforce criminal law. He also accept the City’s argument that because there is a comprehensive regulatory framework governing zoos in Alberta any legal remedy should be pursued within the confines of the legislation rather than the general jurisdiction of the Court. While the litigation before the Court makes allegations about the health and care of Lucy, this Decision does not address those allegations. Justice Rooke confirms the applicants would not have met the test for standing. At common law, a claimant must demonstrate an interference with a private right in order to seek a judicial remedy. None of Reece, ZooCheck, or PETA can demonstrate this.