Chimp ‘Human’ Rights Argued in U.S. Court
Using a legal strategy once employed to fight human slavery, an animal rights group is asking a New York court to declare that chimpanzees are almost human enough to deserve some of the same rights as people.
The Nonhuman Rights Project filed a classic writ of habeas corpus, demanding that a chimp named Tommy be released from a cage in a Gloversville used-trailer lot.
It asks that the primate be the beneficiary of a trust that would house him in one of the eight facilities of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance.
“This petition asks this court to issue a writ recognising that Tommy is not a legal thing to be possessed by respondents, but rather is a cognitively complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned,” the court filing says.
Tommy’s owner argues the chimp is well cared for and has many toys. He says he rescued Tommy from a home where was badly treated.
“If they were to see where this chimp lived for the first 30 years of his life, they would jump up and down for joy about where he is now,” Patrick C. Lavery told The New York Times.
A ruling in favour of the writ would set chimps apart from other animals and could possibly trigger moves to confer similar rights to other non-human creatures.
The Spanish Parliament in 2008 granted chimps certain legal rights, and countries like India have had sporadic success in similar efforts.
Global Warming-Related Rainfall Killing off Canadian Peregrine Falcon Chicks
Excess rain in the Arctic has been deadly for adolescent Canadian peregrine falcons.
The rain is believed to have been brought on by climate change, and may be posing as much of a threat to the birds as the chemical DDT did before it was banned, a University of Alberta news release reported.
The rain is believed to interfere with the falcons’ reproductive success. The team looked at breeding records dating back to the 1980s. They also monitored falcon nests using motion-sensitive cameras. The cameras showed one third of the nestling deaths could be attributed to rain.
The nestlings died from hypothermia and in some cases from drowning in their flooded nests. Without constant parental care, they are most vulnerable to cold and wet conditions in the first three weeks of life.
The population of peregrine falcons in Canada have been steadily declining over the past 30 years.