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April 24, 2012

Congress Asked to Spare Chimps, Save Tax Dollars

The Humane Society of the United States Urges Swift Passage of Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act

  • Chimpanzees like Flo would no longer suffer in laboratories if the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act passes. Alamogordo Primate Facility

The Humane Society of the United States today asked members of the Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee on Water and Wildlife to take action on the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810), a bipartisan federal bill which would phase out invasive research and testing on approximately 950 chimpanzees languishing in U.S. laboratories and retire the approximately 500 federally-owned chimpanzees currently in laboratories to permanent sanctuary, all while saving taxpayers approximately $300 million over the next decade.
 
“The science shows that chimps are not needed for invasive experiments, the long-terms costs of keeping chimps in labs amount to a substantial burden for American taxpayers, and our ethical standards demand more of us than to keep these animals in laboratory cages,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.  “We are grateful to Chairman Ben Cardin, Ranking Member Jeff Sessions and the members of the Senate subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, for holding a hearing on this important legislation, and now it’s time to enact it.”
 
S. 810 was introduced by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and has 14 co-sponsors in the Senate. A companion bill, H.R. 1513, by Reps. 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 164 co-sponsors in the House.
 
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council could not identify any area of current biomedical research for which chimpanzee use is necessary. Further, the report pointed to several available alternatives to chimpanzee use and called for increased support for the development of more alternative research methods.
 
Prior to the IOM report, approximately 80 to 90 percent of chimpanzees in laboratories weren’t being used and instead were, and continue to be, warehoused in laboratories at a high cost to taxpayers.
 
Sanctuaries can provide higher standards of care at a lower cost to taxpayers.
 
A copy of the written testimony provided to the subcommittee by The HSUS on the bill can be viewed here and will be made available upon request.
 
Media Contact: HSUS – Anna West, 240-751-2669, awest@humanesociety.org

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