A New York judge has granted two research chimps the writ of habeas corpus — a move that allows them to challenge their detention. The decision, says Science magazine, effectively recognizes chimps as legal persons, marking the first time in U.S. history that an animal has been given that right.

Should a Chimpanzee Be Considered a Person?

Tommy is a 26-year-old chimpanzee owned by a couple in upstate New York. He has a lawyer and a trust fund to have him declared the first animal considered a person under the law. The Boston-based Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) asked the court to free Tommy from what they describe as a "small, dank, cement cage... Continue Reading →

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