Berliner Boersenzeitung - Swiss region votes on giving primates fundamental rights

EUR -
AED 3.906704
AFN 76.817546
ALL 101.061602
AMD 420.445721
ANG 1.916268
AOA 885.936569
ARS 924.127111
AUD 1.659928
AWG 1.914792
AZN 1.809662
BAM 1.957011
BBD 2.146829
BDT 116.692227
BGN 1.956481
BHD 0.401048
BIF 3051.965949
BMD 1.063773
BND 1.451198
BOB 7.373495
BRL 5.608752
BSD 1.063258
BTN 88.904191
BWP 14.696096
BYN 3.479654
BYR 20849.95908
BZD 2.143227
CAD 1.470315
CDF 2967.92823
CHF 0.970379
CLF 0.038111
CLP 1051.592896
CNY 7.700123
CNH 7.726724
COP 4184.959108
CRC 532.5246
CUC 1.063773
CUP 28.189996
CVE 110.333291
CZK 25.260392
DJF 189.347196
DKK 7.46087
DOP 62.818291
DZD 143.400961
EGP 51.594038
ERN 15.956601
ETB 60.499577
FJD 2.424322
FKP 0.853957
GBP 0.85472
GEL 2.839865
GGP 0.853957
GHS 14.279704
GIP 0.853957
GMD 72.150447
GNF 9138.656371
GTQ 8.270041
GYD 222.625701
HKD 8.33175
HNL 26.250248
HRK 7.531686
HTG 140.987264
HUF 394.798051
IDR 17315.891016
ILS 3.996506
IMP 0.853957
INR 89.010124
IQD 1392.862112
IRR 44758.267018
ISK 150.694384
JEP 0.853957
JMD 165.172233
JOD 0.753895
JPY 164.351908
KES 139.882803
KGS 94.788702
KHR 4299.661275
KMF 492.367662
KPW 957.396453
KRW 1480.224725
KWD 0.327812
KYD 0.886048
KZT 477.255397
LAK 22615.785439
LBP 95216.138941
LKR 319.207573
LRD 205.308105
LSL 20.107997
LTL 3.141046
LVL 0.643466
LYD 5.139181
MAD 10.814694
MDL 18.926537
MGA 4673.848942
MKD 61.581622
MMK 2232.882042
MNT 3670.018676
MOP 8.577328
MRU 42.205167
MUR 49.673935
MVR 16.429993
MWK 1843.023414
MXN 18.135794
MYR 5.097565
MZN 67.539433
NAD 20.109316
NGN 1220.895492
NIO 39.134222
NOK 11.670898
NPR 142.246706
NZD 1.807029
OMR 0.409491
PAB 1.063258
PEN 3.96628
PGK 4.026492
PHP 60.624982
PKR 295.858522
PLN 4.358632
PYG 7873.79947
QAR 3.872933
RON 4.977079
RSD 117.137386
RUB 99.27669
RWF 1370.348177
SAR 3.990419
SBD 9.015676
SCR 14.432049
SDG 623.371123
SEK 11.622246
SGD 1.45096
SHP 1.344025
SLE 24.304353
SLL 22306.80068
SOS 607.938902
SRD 37.002826
STD 22017.962095
SVC 9.303759
SYP 2672.76303
SZL 20.267545
THB 38.99049
TJS 11.626887
TMT 3.723207
TND 3.310991
TOP 2.542953
TRY 34.562748
TTD 7.217399
TWD 34.577918
TZS 2755.173028
UAH 42.080846
UGX 4077.523783
USD 1.063773
UYU 41.365603
UZS 13468.336225
VEF 3853575.107604
VES 38.548093
VND 26902.829854
VUV 126.293348
WST 2.982404
XAF 656.363256
XAG 0.037492
XAU 0.000445
XCD 2.8749
XDR 0.8079
XOF 656.363256
XPF 119.331742
YER 266.28911
ZAR 20.235413
ZMK 9575.231212
ZMW 26.661251
ZWL 342.534608
  • RBGPF

    -0.8380

    50.962

    -1.64%

  • CMSC

    -0.1100

    23.9

    -0.46%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0500

    4.96

    -1.01%

  • SCS

    -0.0850

    11.905

    -0.71%

  • GSK

    -0.4850

    40.015

    -1.21%

  • VOD

    -0.0790

    8.211

    -0.96%

  • NGG

    -1.0200

    63.49

    -1.61%

  • RIO

    -1.0900

    65.68

    -1.66%

  • RELX

    -0.3050

    41.335

    -0.74%

  • BTI

    -0.1100

    28.4

    -0.39%

  • SLAC

    0.0050

    10.305

    +0.05%

  • BCC

    -6.2150

    142.785

    -4.35%

  • AZN

    -0.3400

    68.39

    -0.5%

  • JRI

    -0.0900

    10.88

    -0.83%

  • CMSD

    0.0100

    24.35

    +0.04%

  • BCE

    -0.2000

    32.2

    -0.62%

  • BP

    -0.5150

    38.555

    -1.34%

Swiss region votes on giving primates fundamental rights
Swiss region votes on giving primates fundamental rights

Swiss region votes on giving primates fundamental rights

A northern Swiss region will vote Sunday on whether non-human primates should enjoy some of the same basic fundamental rights as their human cousins.

Text size:

The vote in the Basel-Stadt canton, which is home to the city of the same name and to one of Europe's best-known zoos, is being keenly followed by animal rights activists.

- Giving primates 'integrity' -

Triggered by the campaign group Sentience under Switzerland's direct democracy system, the regional vote concerns whether to give primates the right to life and the right to "mental and physical integrity".

"This will mark the first time worldwide that people can vote on fundamental rights for non-human animals," the group claims.

Basel-based Sentience says primates are highly intelligent and maintain an active social life, and feel pain, grief and compassion.

However, they cannot defend themselves against interventions in their lives -- so humans need to take responsibility and grant them rights, says Sentience.

The group says some 150 primates live in the canton, which borders France and Germany.

- Legal challenge -

In 2020, Switzerland's Supreme Court deemed a public vote on the topic was valid, rejecting an appeal.

It found that the proposal would not extend fundamental rights to animals -- but instead introduce specific rights for non-human primates.

However, it said the proposal would only bind the cantonal and municipal authorities in Switzerland's third-biggest city, and "not directly private persons".

The impact on private research institutions, and on Basel Zoo -- in the hands of family shareholders -- would therefore be limited.

And, according to the court, the local authorities and their public bodies do not have any primates.

- Establishing the law -

The vote is "a statement of intent so that primates live in better conditions," said Pedro Pozas, the Spanish director of the Great Apes Project, an international movement which demands a set of rights.

Animal defenders say the vote is highly symbolic. Its scope could be very wide, said Steven Wise, a US lawyer specialising in animal rights.

The vote "would give certain rights to primates, which would have to be litigated out as to what rights those are", he told AFP.

Wise said the proposal raises several questions, including who would plead a primate's case in court if its rights were violated?

If the vote goes through, Swiss courts would meanwhile not be the first to hear such cases.

In 2017 in Argentina, a court granted a female chimpanzee the right not to be imprisoned without trial, under habeas corpus. It was the first chimpanzee in the world to benefit from this right.

Wise said the animal rights movement was trying to "break through the barrier" limiting the extent to which rights can be applied.

He compared the situation to previous battles to extend rights among humans, citing children, women or racial minorities.

Pozas said the United Nations should also make a declaration on the rights of great apes.

- Euthanasia question -

While the proposed new law would only concern primates kept by public bodies, Basel Zoo board member Olivier Pagan fears a spillover effect on their primates.

"If the initiative was adopted, the scrutiny of their well-being and safety would no longer be the responsibility of experienced biologists, veterinarians and experienced caregivers, but of a mediator... or even unqualified lawyers," he said.

When a primate is in serious pain, it might not be possible to end its suffering, under the right to life clause.

Zoo veterinarian Fabia Wyss said: "If the initiative is adopted and if I decide to put the animal to sleep, I put myself beyond the law."

"But by letting an animal suffer unnecessarily, I am also equally culpable."

(B.Hartmann--BBZ)