Group seeks 'personhood' for 4 chimps in NY

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Associated Press

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 7:36 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An animal rights group is asking New York courts to recognize scientific evidence of emotional and cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and to grant the animals "legal personhood" so they are ensured better treatment.

Nonhuman Rights Project, a nonprofit founded by Massachusetts lawyer Steven Wise, filed a second lawsuit Tuesday and plans to file a third Thursday that asks the courts to declare that chimps are not things to be possessed and caged by people and should be released from "illegal detention."

The group is seeking an order, on behalf of four chimps, for their release to a sanctuary that is a member of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, to live out their lives with other primates outdoors.

The group's board of directors includes chimpanzee research pioneer Jane Goodall.

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