2014: Court Trial for Tommy the Chimpanzee’s “Legal Personhood”

A court in New York State is set to decide whether chimpanzees can also be considered “legal persons” in what experts claim to be the first case ever of its kind. This is on the behalf of a 26y/o chimpanzee named Tommy whose human owner has left it to live alone in a dark and dank shed somewhere in New York’s upstate. The case is represented by Lawyer Steven Wise who serves the animal rights group, Nonhuman Rights Project. They have been campaigning for several decades already to extend the protections that come with human rights to similarly intelligent animals. According to their website, their mission is to impact change in the common law status of at least some animals from being considered mere ‘things’, without any kind of legal right, to be better treated like ‘persons’ who have basic rights such as bodily liberty, bodily integrity, and other […] Read More