Spain Makes Historic Ruling on Ape Rights
Posted by lisagbrown on June 26, 2008
Spain made history yesterday when its parliament was the first in the world to protect apes’ rights to life and freedom. The new legislation will outlaw the use of apes for circuses, TV or film productions and medical experimentation. Zoos will continue to maintain their ape populations, but some 70 percent of Spain’s zoos will have to improve conditions in order to meet new criteria. The legislation was met with mixed responses — no species of ape is native to the country, nor are apes used for medical testing, so Spaniards were confused by the need for the new law. However, international animal advocates from the Great Ape Project to the World Society for the Protection of Animals have lauded Spain’s unprecedented, landmark ruling, and hope that this will set the stage for other countries to follow. Advocates also hope that this will spur Spain to revisit its policies on other animal rights issues, like bullfighting.