February 5, 2023

Can Your Pet be Regulated Under the Endangered Species Act?

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Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced its intention to grant a petition to regulate Lolita — an orca whale that has lived at Miami’s Seaquarium for more than 40 years — under the Endangered Species Act. As PLF’s Liberty Blog previously reported, PETA petitioned to have Lolita regulated under the act with a rather bizarre argument applying the species-wide standards for listing to a single animal. The Service ignored the substance of the petition, instead treating it as a challenge to whether it could exclude captive members of a species from the listing of a species as a whole. This is part of a broader policy to bring captive species within the ambit of the act. Last year, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that captive chimpanzees and exotic species grown on private ranches would be regulated under the act, both of which the Service had previously expressly exempted from regulation.<<<Read More>>>