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June 28, 2011

Tide Turning Against Chimpanzee Research

Help us end harmful, invasive research

  • simba nirc chimp

    Simba was one of the chimpanzees filmed during our undercover investigation at New Iberia Research Center. The HSUS

Simba is unaware of the battle currently raging over the quality of his life. But the fight to give him, and the 1,000 other chimpanzees in laboratories, the sanctuary they deserve is looking more and more winnable.

The approximately 44-year-old chimpanzee is one of more than 300 held at the New Iberia Research Center in New Iberia, La., the world's largest chimpanzee laboratory.

For decades he's been confined and used in harmful experiments in the massive lab. It is also where snippets of his life were documented during our undercover investigation (view the video).

Just a few days ago, part of his story was told in an article published in the prominent journal Nature. "Chimpanzee Research on Trial" underscores the pressure that researchers at New Iberia and other laboratories are now under to explain why they want to continue invasive research on chimpanzees. Increasing evidence shows that chimpanzees are not only poor models for human disease, but that chimpanzees used in this type of research suffer physical pain and symptoms of trauma, including mood and anxiety disorders seen humans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Though the Nature piece neglects to mention these aspects of chimpanzee life in laboratories (our undercover investigation at New Iberia strongly documents them; view the video), it does outline much of the significant progress made on the front of ending chimpanzee research (read the article). That progress includes:

May-June 2011: Three members—including the chair—of an Institute of Medicine committee charged with evaluating whether the federal government should continue to use chimpanzees in research are no longer serving on the committee after The HSUS and others raised concerns about conflicts of interest. This was an important step toward balancing the views of the committee and ensuring that it is able to fairly evaluate whether chimpanzees should be used. Bias still remains, though, and to that same end, we’ll push for new committee members who will bring other interests to the table, like chimpanzee well-being as well as existing and promising alternatives. Help us continue to fight for an end to chimpanzee research—donate to our Chimps Deserve Better Fund »

April 2011: The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, a federal bill The HSUS has spearheaded along with the bill sponsors, was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with more than 40 co-sponsors. If passed, the bill would phase out invasive research and testing on all of the approximately 1,000 chimpanzees languishing in U.S. laboratories and retire the approximately 500 federally-owned chimpanzees currently in laboratories to permanent sanctuary—all while saving taxpayers nearly $30 million every year. Take action to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act »

January 2011: Following an outcry from animal protection groups and the public, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) postponed the transfer of nearly 200 chimpanzees (who hadn’t been used in experiments for more than nine years) in Alamogordo, N.M., to a laboratory in Texas where they would be available for use in harmful research. Take action to urge the NIH to retire permanently all Alamogordo chimpanzees »

The United States is the only developed nation in the world that continues to use chimpanzees in invasive experiments. Please join us in furthering the fight to help these intelligent and social creatures.

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