July 17, 2008 • Posted in Related News
A Spanish parliamentary committee adopted resolutions in June that would extend some human rights to chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans, such as the right to life, freedom from arbitrary captivity and protection from torture. If passed, Spain would become the first country to explicitly recognize the legal rights of non-humans.
Spain’s legislation would outlaw using great apes in experiments, circuses, TV commercials, or films. Apes could be kept in zoos, but conditions would be improved.
“By granting them basic rights … we’re protecting their lives and keeping them from being tortured,” says Michele Stumpe of Atlanta, president of the Great Ape Project International, which has campaigned for 15 years for apes’ rights.
(Attorney Stumpe is also among the chimpanzee experts on the Advisory Board of Project R&R).