The Spanish parliament has adopted a resolution requiring the Government to promote the Great Apes Project internationally and ensure the protection of apes from “abuse, torture and death.” The Great Ape Project was founded by philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri who claim that hominids such as chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans should enjoy the right to life and freedom and not to be mistreated. Critics complain that new resolution gives rights to animals previously only recognized for humans. For the proponents of ape rights this is precisely the point. From the London Times:
The resolutions will outlaw harmful experiments on great apes, though activist say that they have no knowledge of any being carried out in Spain. It will also make keeping great apes for circuses, TV commercials or filming a criminal offence.This is more than a little bit nutty and is especially surprising coming from the nation famous for bull fights. What this indicates is that the Spanish have lost the moral and philosophical framework to distinguish between a human and an animal. That is a sad state of affairs.
Keeping apes in zoos will remain legal, but conditions for the 350 apes in Spanish zoos will have to improve. Animal rights activists say that 70 per cent of apes in Spanish zoos live in sub-human conditions.