September 15, 2011
Glee Star on Capitol Hill Seeking End to Invasive Research on Chimpanzees
Actress Charlotte Ross lobbies for Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act
Actress Charlotte Ross, The Humane Society of the United States and other animal welfare experts will meet with legislators and participate in a Congressional briefing about the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513). The legislation, sponsored by Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Representatives Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Dave Reichert, R-Wash., James Langevin, D-R.I., and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., has strong, bipartisan support in Congress and would phase out invasive research on chimpanzees in laboratories, retire the more than 500 government-owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries and end breeding of chimpanzees for invasive research while saving taxpayers approximately $30 million per year.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to speak with legislators about an issue that is so important to me,” Ross said. “Thanks to scientific advances and public support, all signs are pointing to harmful chimpanzee research coming to an end and this commonsense bill will help move that effort forward. The time has come to give chimpanzees the sanctuary they deserve.”
Approximately 1,000 chimpanzees are living in six laboratories in the United States—the only developed country in the world that continues large-scale confinement of chimpanzees in laboratories. Most of them are not used in active research, but are warehoused at great cost to U.S. taxpayers.
“The harsh conditions and treatment of chimpanzees that we documented at a chimpanzee laboratory remind me of my days working at a primate breeding and research facility. These remarkable animals deserve better,” said Kathleen Conlee, senior director of animal research issues for The HSUS. “Passage of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act is the right thing to do for chimpanzees and taxpayers alike.”
The Congressional briefing, hosted by The Humane Society of the United States, will start at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 in the Dirksen Senate Building, Room 562. Other confirmed speakers at the briefing include:
- Brian Hare, assistant professor of evolutionary anthropology and cognitive neuroscience, Duke University;
- Kathleen Conlee, senior director, animal research issues, The Humane Society of the United States;
- Joanne Zurlo, director of science strategy at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and
- Sarah Baeckler, executive director, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Wash.
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