US judge grants ‘human rights’ to a pair of laboratory chimpanzees being held at biomedical research facility in landmark case

A New York judge has granted the legal right of habeas corpus to two chimpanzees being held at a biomedical research facility, a decision that animal rights activists have hailed as the first time chimps have been afforded the status of legal “persons”.

Habeas corpus, which governs against unlawful detention, has before now been applied only to humans.