NY court to hear arguments that chimps have rights


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York appeals court is hearing a novel legal effort to have chimpanzees declared “persons” rather than “things” so the animals can be freed from what critics say are inhumane conditions.

Attorney Steven Wise will argue Wednesday on behalf of Tommy, who lives alone in a cage in upstate Fulton County. A trial level judge refused a request by Wise and his group, the Nonhuman Rights Project, to have Tommy released to join other chimps at a Florida sanctuary.

Wise argues that animals with human qualities, such as chimps, deserve basic rights, including freedom from imprisonment. His group is also seeking the release of three other chimps in New York.



It seems to me that it should be a chimp arguing this case.


Haha, perfect response.


If the chimp flings poo while on the witness stand, does that count as contempt of court then? Remember this “person” business swings both ways… :whackadoo:


Tommy’s owner, Patrick Lavery of Gloversville, told the Albany Times-Union the chimpanzee is happy and has cable TV and a stereo to entertain him.

That sounds like a lot of men I know.

In all seriousness, though, I think we need a better category for animals in the law. Animals do have rights. They are fundamentally different rights than human rights, but they do exist.


Rights in a society correlate directly to responsibilities. What responsibilities do these animals have?


Children and the mentally incompetent have rights too, yet they do not have responsibilities. We say a fetus has a right to life - what responsibility goes along with that?

What you say of rights simply isn’t true. There are some things we call rights that are established by the law, yes. But there are such things as fundamental rights, which are based on what a thing is in its very nature.


Are we sure that its not the chimps that are already running the courts in NY?

closed #9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.