U.S. Chimpanzees Could Go Dutch
In 2002, the Netherlands prohibited future biomedical research on chimpanzees and began releasing them into sanctuaries. Congress now has an opportunity to do the same for U.S. chimpanzees. But the Great Ape Protection Act needs more congressional co-sponsors. PCRM asked you to urge your representatives to join the dozens already co-sponsoring the bill. The bill has 69 co-sponsors, but it needs another 31.
Reps. Rush Holt, D-N.J., and Mary Jo Kilroy, D-Ohio, officially became Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) co-sponsors after PCRM supporters encouraged them to take this important step that could help phase out all invasive experiments on chimpanzees. The bill would also release chimpanzees owned by the federal government into permanent sanctuaries, just as they have been in the Netherlands, where PCRM recently visited the AAP Foundation sanctuary.
After presenting “A Novel Approach for the Assessment of Psychological Suffering Among Animals: Chimpanzee Case Study” in Rome last month, PCRM primatologist Debra Durham, Ph.D., and PCRM’s director of research policy Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., continued their observational research with 37 chimpanzees at AAP.
In 2005, AAP built a chimpanzee complex to provide permanent shelter for chimpanzees released from laboratories. This occurred as part of an agreement with the Dutch government, which also provided funding for building materials and the lifetime care of the chimpanzees.
“With successful passage of the Great Ape Protection Act, the United States can do the same for the more than 1,000 chimpanzees who languish in U.S. laboratories,” says Dr. Durham. “But without the immediate support of key legislators, the bill may not make it to a vote.”
Visit PCRM’s Great Ape Protection Act (GAPA) website today to:
- Take action by signing the latest action alert urging Congress to support GAPA.
- Get involved locally by finding GAPA events in your community, ordering GAPA literature to distribute, and downloading the new PowerPoint presentation that will help you lead a GAPA letter-writing party.
- Meet the chimpanzees by viewing before-and-after videos of chimpanzees who have survived life in laboratories and are now living in sanctuaries.
- Read PCRM’s GAPA briefing document to learn about the failures of chimpanzee research and testing in the United States, superior nonanimal alternatives, and the detrimental impact of captivity on chimpanzees.
- Join the “Help End Chimpanzee Experiments” Facebook cause and encourage your Facebook friends to do the same.
Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H.
PCRM Online, October 2009