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Speciesist New York court denies freedom and personhood to captive chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko

JONATHAN STEMPEL: ‘Chimpanzees do not deserve the same rights as people, a New York state appeals court unanimously concluded… and refused to order the release of two of the animals to a primate sanctuary. The 5-0 decision by the Appellate Division in Manhattan is the latest defeat for the Nonhuman Rights Project and its lawyer Steven Wise in a long debate over whether caged chimpanzees are actually legal “persons” entitled like humans to bodily liberty. Citing experts like primatologist Jane Goodall, the Nonhuman Rights Project said chimpanzees and humans share many behavioral, cognitive and social capabilities.

It said this entitled chimpanzees to many of the same rights, and sought “habeas corpus” relief to win freedom for Tommy and Kiko, each held by a private owner in upstate New York. But the shared capabilities “do not translate to a chimpanzee’s capacity or ability, like humans, to bear legal duties, or to be held legally accountable for their actions,” Justice Troy Webber wrote for the appeals court… The Nonhuman Rights Project is reviewing the decision, which upheld rulings by state Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe in Manhattan. “This is not going to change without a struggle,” Wise said in a statement. “We remain confident that Tommy’s and Kiko’s fundamental right to bodily liberty will be recognized”.’ SOURCE…


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