Bioengineered monkeys with human genetic diseases have almost arrived

Looking to create more accurate experimental models for human diseases, biologists have created transgenic monkeys with "customized" mutations. It's considered a breakthrough in the effort to produce more human-like monkeys — but the ethics of all this are dubious at best. » 1/31/14 2:00pm 1/31/14 2:00pm

​What will happen after animals are legally recognized as persons?

The first real attempt to see chimps legally recognized as persons may have failed, but it's an historic case that undoubtedly represents the first of many to come. It'll only be a matter of time before chimps and other animals are no longer seen as mere property, but rather as subjects worthy of legal protections.… » 12/16/13 1:16pm 12/16/13 1:16pm

​Experts Gather at Yale to Discuss Whether Animals Are People

This past weekend, the IEET hosted the world's first conference dedicated to the topic of nonhuman animal personhood. Energized by the NhRP's recent initiative to have captive chimpanzees legally recognized as persons and not property, the event brought together legal experts, scientists, philosophers, and futurists… » 12/10/13 3:40pm 12/10/13 3:40pm

​Peter Singer and David Brin to speak at animal personhood conference

The final list of speakers has been announced for Personhood Beyond the Human, a conference devoted to the issue of granting human-like legal protections to a select group of highly sapient nonhuman animals. » 11/22/13 2:34pm 11/22/13 2:34pm

No, India did not just grant dolphins the status of humans

Contrary to widespread reports, the Indian government did not recently grant legal personhood status to dolphins. But it did abolish the use of dolphins in aquatic theme parks — an important precedent that could eventually inspire other countries to do the same. » 8/15/13 1:24pm 8/15/13 1:24pm

Costa Rica to close all government-funded zoos

Costa Rica is internationally recognized for its environmental spirit. Now, in keeping with this reputation, country officials have announced that the nation will close all federally funded zoos, releasing captive animals to either the wild or rescue centers by as early as May 2014. » 8/05/13 10:50am 8/05/13 10:50am

Advocacy Group to Name Captive Chimp as Plaintiff in Historic Case

The Nonhuman Rights Project plans to file a case on behalf of its first animal client, an unnamed captive chimpanzee. Sometime in the next few months, it will file a writ of habeas corpus asking a state court judge to grant the chimp its liberty. It could go down as the first true step towards animal personhood. » 7/17/13 12:20pm 7/17/13 12:20pm

These Unresolved Ethical Questions Are About to Get Real

As our technologies take us from the theoretical to the practical, a number of thorny moral quandaries remain unanswered. Here are important unresolved ethical questions that are on the verge of becoming highly relevant. » 6/12/13 12:45pm 6/12/13 12:45pm

When Pets Get Drafted: The Bizarre History of Animal Soldiers

Animals are smarter than many people realize, and they can learn to do all sorts of stuff. That's why so many creatures have been domesticated — but it's also why people have tried, over and over, to send animals to war. Here's a history of animal soldiers, in pictures. » 5/21/13 3:54pm 5/21/13 3:54pm

How do you give an animal an IQ test?

We humans are notorious for underestimating the intelligence of animals. As Frans de Waal writes in the Wall Street Journal, scientists have consistently botched up intelligence tests administered to animals — tests that are often human-centric and stacked unfavorably against them. Is there a better way to estimate… » 3/25/13 2:20pm 3/25/13 2:20pm

Watch as retired lab chimps see the sky for the very first time

In January we reported on the successful initiative by government scientists in the U.S. to end most research done on chimps. In all, about 450 chimps currently held in government research facilities will be retired from active duty and relocated to federal sanctuaries, including Chimp Haven in Louisiana. It's going… » 3/08/13 7:10am 3/08/13 7:10am

Government Scientists in the U.S. Are Set to End Most Research Done On …

It has been a long time coming, but it looks like the vast majority of medical research performed on chimps in the United States is about to come to an end. A report from an internal working group was approved yesterday by the National Institutes of Health — and pending a final review by NIH director Francis Collins,… » 1/23/13 3:00pm 1/23/13 3:00pm

When does an animal count as a person?

A grassroots movement has recently emerged in which a number of scientists, philosophers, ethicists and legal experts have rallied together in support of the idea that some nonhuman animals are persons and thus deserving of human-like legal protections. Their efforts have subsequently thrown conventional notions of… » 11/16/12 11:00am 11/16/12 11:00am

Should we upgrade the intelligence of animals?

Well, it finally happened. As we reported last week, scientists have successfully enhanced the intelligence of rhesus monkeys using a brain implant, albeit temporarily. Futurists and science fiction authors have speculated about this possibility for years — and now the reality is upon us. And it's clear that this… » 9/17/12 10:35am 9/17/12 10:35am