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Chimps are not people, NY court rules

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NEW YORK — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to free two chimpanzees from a New York state university by arguing the human-like animals deserved “personhood” status.

State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe writes in a decision made public Thursday that she is bound by a higher court’s decision from considering Leo and Hercules as people.

The Nonhuman Rights Project had filed court papers in Manhattan to remove the chimpanzees from Stony Brook University on Long Island, where they are used in locomotion studies. Lawyers had hoped to place them in a Florida sanctuary.

In May, Jaffe heard arguments for and against releasing the mammals.

Nonhuman Rights Project lawyers have argued the highly intelligent chimpanzees are “autonomous and self-determining beings.”