SPAIN TO GRANT APES RIGHTS

Parliament’s environmental committee approved resolutions last week that urge Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, founded by philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri in 1993, to give “non-human hominids” the rights to life, freedom and not to be tortured that have hitherto been limited to humans. It is the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans. The new resolutions, which have a cross-party support, are expected to become law and the government is committed to outlawing harmful experiments on apes within a year. The director of the Great Apes Project in Spain, Pedro Pozas, said: “We have no knowledge of great apes being used in experiments in Spain, but there is currently no law preventing that from happening.” Keeping apes for circuses, television commercials or filming will also be forbidden and breaking the new laws will become an offence under the country’s penal code. Keeping an estimated 315 apes in zoos will not be illegal, but supporters of the bill said conditions will need to improve drastically in 70% of establishments to comply with the new law.

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