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Help End Invasive
Research on Chimps

Animal Organizations and Scientists Urge Congress to Protect
Our Closest Living Relatives

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In April 2008, Congress introduced The Great Ape Protection Act to end invasive research and testing on chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories. If passed, the bill would retire approximately 600 federally owned chimpanzees currently languishing in laboratories--many for more than 40 years already--to permanent sanctuary.

The U.S. is the largest remaining user of chimpanzees in biomedical research in the world, with an estimated 1,200 chimpanzees currently in U.S. laboratories. England, Sweden, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Austria, and Japan have banned or limited their use. The cost to U.S. taxpayers for chimpanzee research is estimated at $20-25 million per year, money that many in the scientific community believe could be allocated to more effective research.

According to Wayne Pacelle, president of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), "The remarkable cognitive ability of chimpanzees makes this an urgent moral issue requiring immediate action in Congress." Theodora Capaldo, Ed.D., executive director of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society's Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories, adds: "With passage of this bill, the U.S. will join other scientifically advanced nations that have already banned or severely limited the use of chimpanzees, and all great apes, in research. It's the right thing to do. It's time."

The bill is supported by HSUS and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society's Project R&R, along with other organizations and world-renowned chimpanzee experts and leaders. The HSUS Chimps Deserve Better Campaign and Project R&R have spearheaded efforts to educate the public about the use of chimpanzees in research and testing, drawing unprecedented support for this bill not only from the public but also from more than 300 scientists, physicians, and educators.

Time is running out for chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories. An estimated 90% of them are considered elderly. A survey conducted in 2005 found that 71% of the American public agrees that chimpanzees held in a laboratory for 10 years or more should be retired and that Americans are twice as likely to support a ban as to oppose it.

Of the estimated 1,200 chimpanzees in nine U.S. laboratories, approximately half are government owned or supported. The lifetime care of one chimpanzee costs $300,000 to $500,000.

In April 2005, the federally funded national chimpanzee sanctuary system, run by Chimp Haven, took in its first chimpanzee residents, adding to the hundreds of chimpanzees already retired in privately funded chimpanzee sanctuaries in the U.S. and Canada, including Save the Chimps and Fauna Foundation. Since then approximately 150 chimps have been retired to the federally funded national chimpanzee sanctuary system. Approximately 500 more chimps previously used in research--including military, air and space research--reside at private sanctuaries in North America.

In December 2007, an amendment to the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act providing permanent retirement to chimpanzees determined to be no longer needed for research passed Congress. President Bush signed it into law on December 26, 2007. (Amazingly, he actually did something good!)

Help build the momentum of citizen support needed to end chimpanzee research in the United States. Sign the U.S. Petition and learn more at www.releasechimps.org.

Project R&R is a national campaign of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, one of the country's oldest animal protection organizations, founded in 1895. They focus on replacing animal experiments in laboratories and classrooms with ethically and scientifically better and more humane alternatives.

*The Share Guide recommends reading: Nim Chimpsky by Elizabeth Hess, published by Thorndike Press (May 2008).

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