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August 31, 2011

Statement on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finding on Chimpanzees

The Humane Society of the United States is encouraged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement that the agency will begin a status review of the chimpanzee under the Endangered Species Act to determine whether protection of all chimpanzees is warranted. A legal petition filed last year by The HSUS and a diverse coalition of organizations spurred the finding. Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, issued the following statement:

“We are encouraged that the Fish and Wildlife Service had decided to initiate a scientific review of chimpanzee conservation regulations and to take a serious look at whether all chimps should be listed as an endangered species, without an exception for captive animals. The federal government does not ‘split list’ any other endangered species by wild and captive populations, and it should not have done so in this case. The current ‘split listing’ allows these highly intelligent and social creatures to be used  as living props in silly commercials and stunts, as exotic pets, and as test subjects in invasive animal experimentation, even though most chimps have very little scientific value in these protocols and they cost an enormous amount to keep in laboratories.  Such use not only has negative welfare impacts on captive chimpanzees, but undermines the conservation of wild chimpanzees and is inconsistent with the Endangered Species Act. We look forward to providing additional information to the Fish and Wildlife Service and to alerting our members and supporters to this opportunity to protect all chimpanzees from needless harm and commercial trade, regardless of whether they are captive or wild.”

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

 

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