Save the Great Apes!

Should we repatriate wild-caught animals? And are some animals more equal than others?

Jack Woodall
Sep 1, 2006

Sometime before the end of this month, the Spanish parliament is scheduled to consider supporting the Great Apes Project, which would give the great apes certain human rights.

No, I?m not joking. This apparently means that gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos would be recognized as having the right to life, liberty, and freedom from torture. Wild-caught apes would have the right of repatriation to their countries of origin, while captive-bred apes could remain in zoos or reserves. They would be able to have guardians to look after their interests in the same way as mentally incompetent humans.

Britain declared badgers an endangered species in 1973, when they were indeed threatened with extinction. But it has failed to undeclare them now that their numbers have reached pest level and they are a reservoir for bovine tuberculosis. Infected dairy cattle must be slaughtered. To avoid culling badgers, TB-reactor cattle are killed instead,...

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