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I honestly think that the LEFT WING RULING PARTY of Spain has gone permanently bye bye.


Well!!! It looks like the animal rights groups here in the States may have new friends in Spain.







Drive to give 'human' rights to apes leaves Spanish divided

By David Rennie

(Filed: 10/06/2006)


Spain could soon become the first country in the world to give chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and other great apes some of the fundamental rights granted to human beings under a law being proposed by members of the ruling Socialist coalition.


The law would eliminate the concept of "ownership" for great apes, instead placing them under the "moral guardianship" of the state, much as is the case for children in care, the severely handicapped and those in comas, said the MP behind the project, Francisco Garrido.


Great apes held in Spanish zoos would be moved to state-built sanctuaries, unless there was a risk that moving them would harm their emotional welfare, he said.


The law would also make it a criminal offence to mistreat or kill a great ape, except in cases of self-defence or medical euthanasia.


As a first step, Mr Garrido, a Green MP for Seville who sits with the Socialists, will propose a resolution on the rights of great apes before the parliament's environment committee at the end of this month. He said he expects the committee to approve the resolution which already has received the public support of ministers.


Mr Garrido said he was confident that either the government, or the ruling Socialist majority, would introduce a Great Apes Law after the summer recess.


The Roman Catholic Church has expressed concerns about his resolution.


The Archbishop of Pamplona and Tudela, Fernando Sebastian, has said that only a "ridiculous or distorted society" could propose such a law.


"We don't give rights to some people - such as unborn children, human embryos, and we are going to give them to apes," the archbishop said.


Amnesty International's Spanish branch has also expressed concerns, saying that humans have yet to see their rights fully guaranteed. A senior member of the Spanish opposition Partido Popular, Arturo Esteban, called the proposal an "act of moral poverty".


The proposal has been front page news since parliament heard testimony from members of the Great Ape Project (GAP), a Seattle-based pressure group which campaigns for the creation of a "community of equals" in which humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans would all enjoy three fundamental rights: the right to life, to freedom, and to protection from torture.


Their "declaration" calls for great apes to be kept locked up only when they are a threat to the community, and then only with a right of appeal to the courts, with representation by a lawyer.


Mr Garrido's parliamentary resolution would explicitly endorse the approach of the Great Apes Project, and would call on the state to use its voting membership of international forums and organisations to protect great apes from "mistreatment, slavery, death and extinction".


Pedro Pozas, the secretary general of the Spanish branch of the GAP, said that animals reared in captivity might remain in zoos, even after the law's passage, "provided that they are kept in good conditions, with a habitat adapted to their conditions and needs."


Mr Pozas criticised the trade and exchange of apes between zoos and breeding centres. "To move a baby ape is to split up a family. They have feelings, they can feel sad, and they have the capacity for love. If a zoo has no room for new births, it would be better to sterilise the females."


In 1999, New Zealand passed an animal welfare act stating that research, testing or teaching involving the use of a great ape requires government approval, and a finding that "any likely benefits are not outweighed by harm to the great ape".


Britain has also banned medical experimentation on great apes.

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hey gap!! You really left me speechless.






May 3, 2006


There have been recent discussions about the important efforts in Spain to establish legal rights for great apes. There also appears to be some confusion about exactly what the Great Ape Project is seeking to obtain. We are not asking that great apes be granted each and every legal right available to humans, such as the right to vote or drive. Rather, the Great Ape Project seeks recognition of basic legal protections and rights that will guarantee each bonobo, chimpanzee, orangutan, and gorilla the opportunity to live out his or her life according to what is in his or her best interests. These rights would be similar to those currently provided under legal systems around the world for humans of limited capacity, such as children or those who are mentally incompetent and are afforded guardians or caretakers to represent their interests.


Some might question why it's important to grant great apes legal "rights" as "persons" instead of "protections" as "animals". It is helpful to understand the legal status of nonhuman great apes, and how that status allows for their mistreatment. Currently, nonhuman great apes are considered mere property, much as a chair or car or computer. Owners of "property" can do virtually anything they wish to their property without repercussion. Similarly, those who damage such "property" are often only required to pay its fair market value as the penalty for their mistreatment. Only "persons", and not "property", are entitled to "rights" such as the right to freedom from torture. Therefore, it's important to include the great apes within the legal definition of "persons" in order for them to have rights that are necessary for their protection. Some people have difficulty agreeing that nonhuman great apes should fall under the legal definition of "persons". It's important to remember that legal terms often have a different meaning than what is used in everyday language. Recognizing nonhuman great apes as a "legal persons" is not the equivalent of defining them as "humans" - it merely recognizes that they share a sentience that renders it morally important to ensure their protection through legal rights. (It may help to remember that corporations are also considered "legal persons" for the purpose of determining their rights).


By granting nonhuman great apes the fundamental rights we seek, their "owners" will become their guardians or caretakers with a legal responsibility to consider each great ape's best interests at all times. For humans who already conduct themselves in this manner, it is easy to understand why this should be a requirement and not an option. In sum, granting these animals the status of legal persons at law will ensure their entitlement to necessary legal protections, though only with those specific rights described above that are appropriate for them.


We need your help to educate others on the importance of these efforts and to show your support to the Spanish government.

One way to show support is to go to: http://www.20minutos.es/encuesta/504/


Look for the following question: El Grupo Socialista pide derechos básicos para los grandes simios por su parecido con loshumanos. ¿Los grandes simios deben tener derechos fundamentales? (translation: The Socialistic Group is asking for basic rights to be granted to the great apes similar to those for humans. Should the great apes have fundamental rights?) Answer "Si" (yes)


If anyone is interested in learning more about the mission of the Great Ape Project, please visit our website at: www.greatapeproject.org.














I honestly think that the LEFT WING RULING PARTY of Spain has gone permanently bye bye.


Well!!! It looks like the animal rights groups here in the States may have new friends in Spain.


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