The Latest: Group to appeal denial of chimps’ legal rights
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on an appeals court ruling on whether chimpanzees should be granted the legal rights of people (all times local):
A Coral Springs, Florida, animal advocacy group that has argued for chimpanzees being granted the legal rights of people says it will appeal a New York ruling denying that argument.
The Nonhuman Rights Project says it will take its case to New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.
The group’s attorney had argued to another appeals court in March that caged adult male chimps Tommy and Kiko should be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which deals with how people are detained. Attorney Steven Wise argued the chimps should be moved to a large outdoor sanctuary in Florida instead of being caged.
The New York Supreme Court’s appellate division Thursday upheld a lower-court ruling and said there was no precedent for considering a chimp as a legal person.
Two chimpanzees have been denied the legal rights of people in New York.
Nonhuman Rights Project attorney Steven Wise had argued to an appeals court in March caged adult male chimps Tommy and Kiko should be granted a writ of habeas corpus. For people, habeas corpus relates to whether someone is being unlawfully detained and should see a judge.
The chimps were caged in a trailer lot and at a primate sanctuary. Wise argued they should be moved to a large outdoor sanctuary in Florida instead of being caged.
The appeals court Thursday upheld a lower-court ruling. It says Wise’s intention is praiseworthy and “laudable” but there’s no precedent in New York law for considering a chimp as a legal person.
Messages seeking comment from Wise haven’t been returned.