So a 20-week human fetus is not a person, but a chimp is?
Animal Rights Group Sues For Chimpanzee Personhood
[An}animal rights group has filed what it said is the first lawsuit seeking to establish the “legal personhood” of chimpanzees.
The non-profit Nonhuman Rights Project asked a New York state court to declare a 26-year-old chimp named Tommy “a cognitively complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned.”
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that Tommy’s “detention” in a “small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed” in central New York is unlawful and demands his immediate release to a primate sanctuary.
Chimpanzees “possess complex cognitive abilities that are so strictly protected when they’re found in human beings,” Steven Wise, the president of Nonhuman Rights Project, told Reuters.
“There’s no reason why they should not be protected when they’re found in chimpanzees,” he added.
“The focus here is whether a chimpanzee is a ‘person’ that has access to these laws,” said Favre.
The lawsuits come as medical authorities re-examine the employment of chimpanzees in research in light of new technology that renders the use of chimpanzees less necessary.
In a decision applauded by animal rights groups, the US National Institutes of Health in January said it was reducing its use of chimps in biomedical research, retiring most to sanctuaries. At the time, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins called chimps “very special animals” that deserve “special consideration.”
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