December 29, 2011
2011: Beautiful Victories for Animals in Laboratories
From Botox to biomedical research, The HSUS fought on all fronts
This year, The HSUS won a number of protections for primates and other animals in laboratories.
Persistence pays off on Botox©
The HSUS first began urging Allergan to stop killing animals to test Botox Cosmetic in 2004. Thousands of HSUS supporters joined in, asking Allergan to develop an alternative test. This June Allergan announced that it received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a new procedure that avoids using animals in Botox testing.
The industry standard for testing products like Botox has been a procedure known as Lethal Dose 50 Percent, in which animals suffer and die by suffocation.
Allergan estimates that it will reduce its use of animals in Botox testing by 95 percent within the next three years.
Army’s chemical warfare training on monkeys ended
In October, following pressure from concerned citizens, animal welfare groups, and U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R.-Md., the U.S. Army announced that live monkeys would be replaced with non-animal alternatives in future chemical warfare trainings for soldiers.
The Washington Post reported that the Army will use a combination of "trained actors, computer programs, and high-tech, mannequin-like patient simulators" to train soldiers in the future.
Protections for chimps in the wild and captivity
In September, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would review the status of captive chimpanzees in the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act to determine whether protection of all chimpanzees is warranted. The decision was in response to a legal petition filed by HSUS and other conservation and animal protection organizations asking the agency to increase protection of captive chimpanzees in the U.S. used for invasive experiments and in the pet and entertainment trade. Wild chimpanzees, in contrast, are protected as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
More than 50,000 HSUS supporters asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help protect captive chimpanzees. Add your voice »
Alamogordo chimpanzees get a reprieve from research
Thanks to animal welfare organizations, legislators, and animal lovers, plans to move nearly 200 chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility to a biomedical research laboratory in Texas were postponed in January 2011. The National Institutes of Health announced that it would not move the chimpanzees to a facility where they could be used in harmful experiments until receiving the report it commissioned from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine study of chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research (below).
Invasive biomedical research on chimps declared unnecessary
In December, the Institute of Medicine released a report concluding that there is no area of invasive biomedical research that requires the use of chimpanzees. This is significant: The United States is the last developed country in the world that continues to use chimpanzees in invasive biomedical research.
Following the announcement of the study results, the National Institute of Health immediately halted any new studies involving chimpanzees and estimated that about half of the current studies involving chimpanzees would be phased out.
Five chimpanzees retired to sanctuary
While reviewing chimpanzee news this autumn, we realized that some very familiar chimpanzees had finally retired as HSUS supporters requested. Following our 2009 undercover investigation at New Iberia Research Center, thousands of animal lovers urged the National Institutes of Health to send 26 elderly, wild-caught chimpanzees at the laboratory to a sanctuary.
Earlier this year, five of these chimpanzees—Karen, Lady Bird, Penny, Terry, and Jerry—were released to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, La., after spending decades in laboratories.