Friday, December 05, 2014

New York Court Refuses 'Legal Personhood' Of Tommy The Chimpanzee

The plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit seeking legal rights for a chimpanzee has lost his case—for now.

A New York appeals court this morning rejected the lawsuit, filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project, on behalf of Tommy, a 26-year-old chimp kept alone by his owners in an upstate warehouse.

The Nonhuman Rights Project argued that Tommy should be considered a person—in legal terms, an entity capable of having rights, and in his case one specific right: not to be wrongfully imprisoned.

“Petitioner requests that this Court enlarge the common-law definition of ‘person’ in order to afford legal rights to an animal,” wrote the judges in their decision. “We decline to do so.”

Attorney Steven Wise, founder of the Nonhuman Rights Project, said they will appeal the decision to New York’s highest court. “We think the court was wrong in some very fundamental ways,” he said.


Full story here.
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