NY court hears arguments that chimps have rights
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A state appeals court will decide in coming weeks whether chimpanzees are entitled to “legal personhood” in a case that could lead to expanded rights for animals such as gorillas, elephants and dolphins, according to the lawyer advocating for a 26-year-old chimp named Tommy.
Attorney Steven Wise argued before a five-member mid-level appeals court Wednesday on behalf of Tommy, who lives alone in a cage in upstate Fulton County. A trial-level judge has refused a request by Wise and his Nonhuman Rights Project to have Tommy released to join other chimps at a Florida sanctuary that mimics their natural habitat.
Wise argues that animals with human qualities, such as chimps, deserve basic rights, including freedom from imprisonment. He’s also seeking the release of three other chimps in New York and said he plans similar cases in other states. If he succeeds, he said he will seek personhood for other species with human qualities, which he defines as self-determination and autonomy.
You know what’s next…..