From: The Ecologist
Brazilian judge rules elephant 'not a commodity'
Judge rules that sanctuary does not have to pay import tax on rescued elephant because she is a 'guest', not a commodity.
Ramba, a female elephant, arrived at Santuário de Elefantes do Brasil (Brazil Elephants Sanctuary) after a 73 hour trip all the way from Chile. The groundbreaking decision of a Brazilian judge was the icing on the cake, as if the news of Ramba' freedom from decades of captivity and mistreatment was not good enough.
A few days before Ramba’s transfer began, Judge Leonísio Salles de Abreu Junior, from the first Civil Court at Chapada dos Guimarães prohibited the local government to charge the sanctuary R$ 50,000 (approximately US$13,000) - a tax on the movement of goods known as ICMS. The reason presented was as simple as this: Ramba is not a thing to be imported.