Sorry chimps, you don’t get the same rights as us humans, despite the best efforts of the Nonhuman Rights Project. Reuters reports on what would have been a truly ground-breaking decision had it gone the other way:
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In the first case of its kind, a New York appeals court rejected on Thursday an animal rights advocate’s bid to extend “legal personhood” to chimpanzees, saying the primates are incapable of bearing the responsibilities that come with having legal rights.
A five-judge panel of the Albany court said attorney Steven Wise had shown that Tommy, a 26-year-old chimp who lives alone in a shed in upstate New York, was an autonomous creature, but that it was not possible for him to understand the social contract that binds humans together.
“Needless to say, unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions,” Presiding Justice Karen Peters wrote.