Great news for great apes, and from an unexpected place!
Yesterday it was reported that the Spanish parliament has passed a resolution granting basic rights to great apes – the right to life, freedom, and not being tortured. This is groundbreaking stuff, especially from a country better known to animal lovers as the home of bullfighting. If passed as law – and it seems to have cross-party support – the implications would be very significant. Naturally it would make it illegal to experiment on apes in Spain, as it already is in the UK, although no such experiments are currently taking place. It would also make it illegal to use chimps in circuses and filming for adverts, TV or movies. This is great news, and comes at a time when the UK government still seems reluctant to use the recent Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the use of any species of wild animal in our circuses.
Opponents will no doubt decry this is ‘human rights for animals’ but really the apes are just getting what they deserve – ‘ape rights’. That means respect for them as the intelligent and sensitive beings that they are, and an end to the cruel and degrading treatment that they have suffered at human hands for far too long.
We hope that this move signifies the beginning of the end…