PETA Statement: Recognition of Two Chimpanzees as Legal Persons

For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2015

The court’s order granting Hercules and Leo a hearing to consider their conditions of confinement is a landmark next step in recognizing fundamental animal rights, and we hope they will be freed. This development is the latest confirmation that animal-protection groups’ work over the last few decades has profoundly changed the way our society views other animals. Chimpanzees, orcas, and other intelligent and sensitive individuals deserve basic rights and can no longer be seen as things to be used, abused, and discarded.

— Jeffrey S. Kerr, General Counsel to PETA

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind