Public Comments Needed To Help Captive Primates

The biomedical research industry uses 57,000 monkeys and apes in
laboratories every year. Under a 1985 amendment to the Animal Welfare Act
(AWA), research labs are required to provide a "physical environment
adequate to promote psychological well-being in primates." However, the
regulations regarding this requirement have been insufficient, at best,
and have essentially left the research laboratories to regulate
themselves.

Partly as a result of several lawsuits filed by the Animal
Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the USDA has now issued a new "Draft Policy on
Environmental Enhancement for Nonhuman Primates," intended to address such
things as the social needs of non-human primates and the special needs of
infants. Additionally, the draft policy will also apply to dealers and
exhibitors such as zoos and circuses. This draft policy is essential to
improve the living condition of the thousands of primates being kept in
zoos, labs, and circuses. If it is not approved by the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB), these industries will continue to be allowed
to self-regulate, a policy which is clearly not in the best interest of
these hapless animals.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Please write to the OMB and urge it to sign off on the USDA's Policy on
Environmental Enhancement for Nonhuman Primates for the benefit of the
thousands of captive chimps and apes in the U.S. Write to:

Ms. Margaret Malanoski
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget, Room 10202
New Executive Office Building
17th St & Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20503

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