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Actress Pamela Anderson Urges Congress to Support the Great Ape Protection Act

Pamela AndersonPamela Anderson’s stint on Dancing with the Stars recently ended. But the actress isn’t saying goodbye to the limelight. Now, she’s urging lawmakers to help scientists find a cure for hepatitis C—a disease she’s battling—without experimenting on chimpanzees. She’s calling on Congress to ban invasive chimpanzee experiments and support human-based research methods. In her letters, she asked Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection Act.

“As one of more than 3 million Americans living with hepatitis C, I am writing to ask that you take steps to end ineffective and cruel research using chimpanzees and direct federal funds to modern, human-based research methods that will be more effective at finding a vaccine and treatment for hepatitis C and other deadly diseases,” wrote Anderson to Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Frank Pallone, D-N.J. She also asked the congressmen to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection Act, H.R. 1326.

The bill, which has nearly 150 congressional co-sponsors, would end invasive research on chimpanzees, release the 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, and prohibit the future breeding of chimpanzees for research.

Based on observational pilot data, PCRM primatologist Debra Durham, Ph.D., and PCRM director of research policy Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., have found that chimpanzees once forced to live in laboratory settings can display symptoms similar to those seen in humans suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other anxiety disorders.

This spring, Drs. Ferdowsian and Durham visited Kenya and Uganda, where they continued their data collection on more than 300 chimpanzees in the wild and in sanctuaries. They will use this information and compare it with data collected on chimpanzees who were previously used in research and now live in sanctuaries in the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands.

To join Anderson in urging Congress to pass the Great Ape Protection Act, especially if you or someone you know has HIV or hepatitis C, please visit


PCRM Online, June 2010

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