June 15, 2010
Help Spare Nine Chimps From Life in a Lab
Fate of nine chimpanzees in a Louisiana research facility to be decided soon
Lives in Limbo
Megan, Apollo, Candy, Kira and Mindy are five adult chimpanzees whose futures hang in the balance.
They and four of their babies could be moved to a sanctuary where they would live out the rest of their lives in a safe, peaceful environment—or, they could be forced to stay in a research laboratory where they could languish for decades and possibly be used in harmful experiments.
Time is running out and the chimps need your help.
Megan, Apollo, Candy, Kira, Mindy and the four babies—collectively known as "Group Megan"—are currently being held at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in New Iberia, LA, the same research laboratory that was at the center of an undercover investigation that we conducted last year, during which video evidence of chimpanzee suffering was documented.
Although we don't know much about the backgrounds of the five adult chimpanzees, we do know that they were previously used in non-harmful cognitive research studies for a project that ended several months ago. If it's decided that the nine chimpanzees will not be moved to a sanctuary, they will remain at NIRC—and could be subjected to painful and distressing experiments, much of it at taxpayer expense.
Not only is sending the chimpanzees to a sanctuary a more humane alternative, it is also more cost-effective than keeping them in a laboratory.
Despite claims made by the university that it owns all nine chimpanzees, we recently learned that Megan, Candy, Kira and Mindy—the four adult females in the group—are owned by the federal government and managed by the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Since the four females are federally-owned, much of the cost to send them to a sanctuary is actually the government's responsibility, making the cost to the university less than originally claimed.
There's also a cost-savings for the government, since the contract between the National Sanctuary System (run by the non-profit sanctuary Chimp Haven) and the government stipulates that the government is responsible for 75 percent of the cost of chimpanzee care at a sanctuary, compared with 100 percent of the cost of chimpanzee care at a laboratory. Chimp Haven relies on public donations to make up the remaining 25 percent.
Sending these chimpanzees to a place where they will live life free of the daily stresses of the laboratory at a reduced cost is a win-win—both for the public and for the chimpanzees.
You can help decide the fate of Megan, Apollo, Candy, Kira, Mindy and their babies.