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New York Court to Hear Case of Unlawfully Imprisoned Chimp
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Summary: In a very interesting case, a lawyer from Boston is fighting for ‘legal personhood’ for chimpanzees in the state of New York. 


In what looks to be the very first case of its kind, an appeals court in New York will consider this week if chimpanzees are entitled to “legal personhood,” according to Scientific American.

Steven Wise is a lawyer working on a case centered around a chimp who goes by the name of Tommy.

A mid-level state appeals court in Albany will hear the case today regarding Tommy, who is 26 and owned by a human. The human keeps the chimp alone in a “dark, dank shed” in upstate New York, according to Wise.

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Wise wants the court to rule that Tommy has been kept imprisoned unlawfully and should be sent to a sanctuary for chimps in Florida.

If Wise wins this case, it could lead to expanded rights for chimps and other animals of higher-orders including dolphins, elephants and orcas.

“The next argument could be that Tommy … also has the right to bodily integrity, so he couldn’t be used in biomedical research,” Wise, who is from Boston, said.

Patrick Lavery, the owner of Tommy, has waived his right to make an argument in the case. Lavery said last year that the shed Tommy lives in is a $150,000 state-of-the-art facility. He also said that Tommy has been waiting for a sanctuary for three years.

Image Credit: Inquisitr

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