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Talk Show Host Bill Maher Asks Congress to Pass Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act

Talk show host and political satirist Bill Maher recently wrote a letter asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, a bill that would end invasive experiments on chimpanzees:

April 26, 2012

The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Reid,

It’s time to get real about ending invasive experiments on chimpanzees. You have an opportunity to save hundreds of our closest genetic cousins. As Senate Majority Leader, you have the power to pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. I encourage you to bring this bill to the Senate floor for a vote and put your full support behind it.

A landmark 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine concluded that there are no current areas of medical research for which chimpanzee use is demonstrably necessary. The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would help accelerate the shift to modern, human-centered, human-relevant medical research.

Other countries have already done away with experiments on great apes because of the serious scientific and ethical problems. In fact, we are the only country to continue funding large-scale invasive experiments on chimpanzees.

This bill has now been introduced in three Congresses. Each time, it racks up an impressive number of co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. But in the 110th and 111th Congresses, it did not make it to the floor for a vote. This time, we must ensure this critical bill gets the attention it deserves.

Nearly 1,000 chimpanzees are locked in laboratory cages across our nation right now—many are elderly and have spent decades trapped behind bars. Most aren’t even being used in active protocols, because researchers have moved away from chimpanzee experiments after realizing how futile they are for predicting how treatments will affect human health. The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would release federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, allowing them to spend their final years in peace.

Please move quickly to bring this bill to the Senate floor to ensure its vote and quick passage this year.

Thank you for your time.


Bill Maher



 Bill Maher

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