Target: New York State Courts
Goal: Release four chimpanzees, who are being housed in cruel and confining conditions, into a sanctuary where they can enjoy a better quality of life
Steven Wise, an advocate for animal rights, is suing for several chimpanzees in New York to be released and sent to a primate sanctuary. Wise believes that these chimpanzees are unlawful prisoners, even if they are used for research or kept in private facilities. Three of the seven individuals whom Wise originally filed on behalf of have died at age 26, when the primates are supposed to live to be 60. Wise has grown deeply concerned about their quality of life and living conditions.
Wise is with the Nonhuman Rights Project, which is dedicated to providing obtaining legal personhood for animals. Of the four chimpanzees, two are used for locomotive testing at Stony Brook University, one is a former performing animal now housed near Niagra Falls, and the last, Tommy, is a former film actor. Wise alleges that Tommy is living in “solitary confinement in a small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed.”
In the lawsuit, Wise believes that chimpanzees should have the right to legal personhood because they are “autonomous, self-determined, self-aware, intelligent, and emotionally complex” beings who cognitively “resemble human beings.” If he can persuade the courts to rule in his favor, the chimpanzees will be taken away from their current facilities and sent to a primate sanctuary.
Chimpanzees should have the right to live their life to the fullest, and if their psychological and emotional needs aren’t being met, they should be moved to habitats that fulfill these requirements. If you believe that these primates deserve better, sign this petition to lend your support.
Dear New York Courts,
I am writing about the four chimpanzees held in captivity in your state. I understand that a lawsuit on behalf of these primates is being filed by Steven Wise, who is hoping to prove that chimpanzees should be classified as legal persons and thus sent to a primate sanctuary. It is apparent that their living conditions do not mirror their natural habitat, and of the original seven chimpanzees Wise wanted to save, three have already died. Chimpanzees are supposed to live until the age of 60, yet these three died before they reached 30.
I implore you to release these chimpanzees and take them to a sanctuary where some of their natural habitat will be replicated. Chimpanzees should not be with humans and confined in small spaces, they should be with their own species where they can play and interact. If classifying them as a legal person enables the chimps to find a new and happier home, then so be it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Elitre via Wikimedia