Humanising Matthew


Animal rights activists in Austria have been campaigning to get a 26 year-old Chimp legally declared a person, but had their hopes dashed when the court judge threw the case out recently.

The shelter which has been housing the Chimp – called Matthew Hiasl Pan – is to be closed down due to lack of funds. Donors have offered financial aid to help, but there’s a catch – under Austrian law only A PERSON can receive monetary gifts, and as the individuals running the shelter have been declared bankrupt they are unable to receive gifts on Matthew’s behalf.

Activists want to ensure the apes don’t wind up homeless if the shelter closes. Both were captured as babies in Sierra Leone in 1982 and smuggled in a crate to Austria for use in pharmaceutical experiments. Customs officers intercepted the shipment and turned the chimps over to the shelter.

+ [27.09.07] CBC: Austrian court to have chimp declared a ‘person’.
+ [27.09.07] The Associated Press: Court Won’t Declare Chimp a Person
+ [26.09.07] USA Today: Austrians Continue Fight for Chimp.


One Response

  1. […] Association Against Animal Factories were campaigning to have a 26-year-old chimpanzee named Matthew Hiasl Pan legally declared a person. Matthew was captured as a baby in Sierra Leone in 1982 and smuggled to […]

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