September 15, 2008


 Spain set to grant rights to great apes

Posted Sept. 1, 2008

The Spanish parliament in June announced its support for granting limited rights to gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans. It is the first time a national legislature has extended such legal protections to nonhumans.

The resolutions require Spain to update its laws within the year to prohibit using apes in circuses, TV commercials, and films, and would require improved conditions at the nation's zoos. The laws would also forbid experiments on great apes.

Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, an international campaign with the goal of providing great apes with the right to life, the freedom of liberty, and protection from torture. The resolutions have majority support in parliament and are expected to become law.

"This is the first time in the history of humanity that an important parliament has announced its approval of rights for great primates," said Pedro Y. Ynterian, director of Great Apes Project Brazil.