Spain is one step closer to being the first country to extend rights to apes.
The parliament's environmental committee approved a resolution giving chimps, monkeys and other apes some of the fundamental rights granted to humans.
"This is an historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity," declared the Spanish director of the Great Apes Project , Pedro Pozas.
GAP'S motto, according to the Brussels Journal, is "Equality beyond Humanity."
The project was started in 1993 to make sure "non-human hominids" were extended the same right to life and freedom as people and that they not be tortured. "We have no knowledge of great apes being used in experiments in Spain, but there is currently no law preventing that from happening,'' Pozas said.
The resolution wouldn't give primates all the same rights as humans, but it would place them under the guardianship of the state.
They'd be moved away from zoos and put into sanctuaries. The resolution would also make it a crime to mistreat or kill one.
The legislation is expected to pass through parliament and soon become law.
One Catholic archbishop in Spain says it's ridiculous the government would give rights to apes -- but not to unborn children.
Source: The Guardian, The Brussels Journal