Don’t make a monkey of human rights
In Spain, a funny thing is happening on the way to the circus
— all the monkeys are disappearing. At least, that is what a
group of legislators on an environmental committee is hoping will
happen, now that the Spanish parliament is considering a resolution
to grant certain human rights to “our non-human brothers” – great
apes, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees and orang-utans.
The measure has broad support and, barring the unexpected, is
likely to become law within a year. After enactment, harmful
experimentation on apes, as well as their use for circuses,
television commercials and films, will be prohibited. It will be
legal for the 350 apes in Spanish zoos to stay there, but their
conditions will have to be drastically improved.
With a single stroke, Spain will also become the first country
to acknowledge unequivocally the legal rights of non-humans.