On August 20, 2010, after weeks of waiting Associate Chief Justice John D. Rooke ruled that the Zoocheck Canada/ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals legal action against the City of Edmonton on behalf of Lucy the elephant cannot move forward. The determining factor in his decision was his opinion that the proceeding was not the correct procedure to seek a remedy for the harm alleged to Lucy.
"Of course, we're disappointed, but these things happen. They got off on a technicality. Our legal team doesn't agree with the judge's opinion, but he's made his ruling. What's unfortunate in all this is that the overwhelming affidavit evidence from a cadre of world renowned elephant experts confirming Lucy's poor living conditions and inappropriate social isolation was never heard," said Julie Woodyer of Zoocheck Canada.
"As well, the Valley Zoo didn't have to defend their numerous nonsensical claims about Lucy that fly in the face of accepted science, zoo industry standards and common sense," added Woodyer.
In his ruling Associate Chief Justice Rooke was very clear that his ruling did not address Lucy's living conditions and health. He said "While this litigation before the Court makes allegations about the health and care of Lucy, this Decision does not address those allegations. Rather, it addresses the health of the legal system to properly consider such allegations."
Zoocheck Canada and its partner groups say the decision does not impact on their efforts to provide relief to Lucy's suffering. "We're still considering the judge's remarks and haven't ruled anything out. In the meantime, other initiatives on behalf of Lucy are already underway," said Woodyer.