Should chimps have ‘personhood’ rights?

Dec 5, 2013

The activist group, the Nonhuman Rights Project, is seeking ‘bodily liberty’ for four chimpanzees and asking that they be moved to a sanctuary.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Researchers typically agree that humans and chimpanzees share a strong genetic link. A lawsuit filed this week, however, is taking that connection a step further, arguing that chimpanzees should have the rights of a "‘legal person."


The Nonhuman Rights Project has initiated lawsuits on behalf of four chimpanzees. The chimps -- Tommy, Kiko, Hercules and Leo -- are all privately owned and held in the State of New York.

David Favre is an animal law expert and a professor at Michigan State University’s College of Law. He breaks down this unprecedented lawsuit.