On December 8th, in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times, The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its nearly 10 million members nationwide, called attention to the plight of over 1,000 chimpanzees confined in research laboratories in the United States. The advertisement, entitled "How Could We?" features a photograph of a juvenile, caged chimpanzee and calls on readers to take action to "end harmful experimentation on chimpanzees."
"Biomedical progress does not depend on experimenting on chimpanzees," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "It is time to stop their suffering and the decades of lonely confinement they endure and to send these endangered animals to sanctuaries where they can live out the rest of their lives in more suitable and comfortable environments, where they will not be subjected to harmful and often life-threatening procedures. Our goal is to raise awareness of their plight and inspire the public to help us work toward this goal."
The advertisement is the second of two that The HSUS has taken out in the New York Times on animal research issues—both of which have featured chimpanzee research. The first ad also addressed the issues of pets sold to biomedical research, the use of animals for product testing, and the denial of students to use alternatives to animal dissection.
Approximately 1,300 chimpanzees are kept in nine laboratories around the United States. Some were caught in the wild decades ago or are former pets. Internationally, the use of chimpanzees in research has declined over the last decade; the United States, Japan, Liberia, and Gabon are the only countries still using chimpanzees in biomedical research – and the U.S. has the largest number of chimpanzees in research laboratories in the world
Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent, psychologically complex, and can live up to 60 years in captivity. Not only is it impossible to meet their needs in a laboratory, but their use and maintenance cost taxpayers approximately $20-25 million per year. Some of the experiments cause severe pain and distress, resulting in weight loss, lethargy and diarrhea. Chimpanzees can also be forced to undergo dozens of liver biopsies per year as well as major surgeries. Some of the research results in death.
"Not only have researchers themselves declared that chimpanzees are poor models for diseases like HIV, but the use of chimpanzees in laboratory research is ethically unacceptable," said Dr. Martin Stephens, vice president of Animal Research Issues for The HSUS. "The time has come to close the laboratory doors and place these animals in sanctuaries—and The Humane Society of the United States will work to make that happen."
For more information and to view a copy of the ad, please visit www.chimpsdeservebetter.org.
Enviroshop is maintained by dedicated NetSys Interactive Inc. owners & employees who generously contribute their time to maintenance & editing, web design, custom programming, & website hosting for Enviroshop.