Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spanish parliament to extend rights to apes

By Martin Roberts
Wed Jun 25, 4:28 PM ET

MADRID (Reuters) -
Spain's parliament voiced its support on
Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in
what will apparently be the first time any national legislature
has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions
urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by
scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic
relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

"This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights
and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will
doubtless go down in the history of humanity," said Pedro
Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project.

Spain may be better known abroad for bull-fighting than
animal rights but the new measures are the latest move turning
once-conservative Spain into a liberal trailblazer.