Is a Chimp a person or a thing?

Why are Austrian courts monkeying around with a chimp? Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories is arguing on behalf of a chimp whose shelter might go away. So, they argue that this Chimp is a "person" and needs a guardian to look after his interests. Austrian court – lower provincial court – has ruled against the chimp being a person. The court has declared it as a "thing"! Therefore, there is a crying need to define a chimp’s "personhood"!

A provincial judge in the city of Wiener Neustadt dismissed the case earlier this week, ruling that the Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories had no legal standing to argue on the chimp’s behalf.

The association, which worries the shelter caring for the chimp might close, has been pressing to get Pan declared a "person" so a guardian can be appointed to look out for his interests and provide him with a home.

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