What is the legal status of beasts?

[Jurisprudence]
-The only natural persons are human beings. Beasts are not persons, either natural or legal. They are merely things often the object of legal rights and duties, but never the subjects of them. There are, however, two cases in which beasts may be thought to posses legal rights. In the first place, cruelty to animals is a criminal offence, and in the second place, a trust for the benefit of particular classes of animals, as opposed to one for individual animals, is valid and enforceable as a public and charitable trust.

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