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The Physicians Committee



Actress Kristin Bauer Opposes Experiments on New Mexico Chimpanzees

Actress Kristin Bauer Opposes Experiments on New Mexico Chimpanzees

Actress Kristin Bauer, star of HBO's True Blood, has been an animal lover since her youth. Now, she’s urging the National Institutes of Health to halt its plan to move chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility to a laboratory in Texas to be used in invasive experimentation.

Bauer joins New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and many others in New Mexico and across the country are speaking out on behalf of these animals.

Read Bauer's letter to NIH director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.:

August 12, 2010

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

Dear Dr. Collins,

I want to urge you to rethink the government's plan to move the chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility to a Texas laboratory for use in invasive experimentation. These chimpanzees have already spent many years being used in harmful experiments, and they have now settled into the Alamogordo facility, where they are safe from experimentation. Many are elderly—and they all deserve to live out their remaining years in peace.

I’ve been an animal lover since I was very young. I’ve always been fascinated by chimpanzees. We now know that these amazing animals use tools, grieve for their dead, and are capable of complex communication with humans. When chimpanzees are used in invasive experiments, they are kept in small metal cages, deprived of normal social interaction, and often subjected to harmful procedures.

Sending these individuals to Texas to be used in painful, invasive experiments is not an ethically sound plan. And when you consider that this move will not advance scientific research, it becomes obvious why New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and many others in New Mexico and across the country are speaking out on behalf of these animals.

Chimpanzees have not proven useful as models for human disease research. That’s why so many chimpanzees in American laboratories are no longer used in active protocols. And it’s also one reason why so many other countries—from Japan to Belgium to New Zealand—have prohibited chimpanzee experimentation. The goal of the National Institutes of Health is to advance scientific integrity—so why would you want to backtrack and support research that we know doesn’t work?

Please don't send the Alamogordo chimpanzees back into the laboratory. These wonderful animals deserve so much better.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Kristin Bauer

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