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July 10, 2012

The HSUS Issues Statement on End of Invasive Chimpanzee Research Program at Maryland Lab

Calls for passage of legislation to retire chimpanzees to sanctuaries

  • Jody, who spent the majority of her life in research laboratores like Bioqual, now lives at a sanctuary. Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

The Humane Society of the United States issued the following statement on the closure of an invasive chimpanzee research program at Bioqual, Inc--a laboratory in Rockville, Md.:

“The Humane Society of the United States is encouraged that this invasive chimpanzee research program is ending and believe this is one of several indications that the United States is moving closer to a time when chimpanzees will no longer be used in harmful experiments,” said Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues at The HSUS. “However, it is disappointing that 15 young chimpanzees from Bioqual have already been, or soon will be, shipped to New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, rather than a chimpanzee sanctuary.”

To put a permanent end to invasive research in this country, sparing both chimpanzees and taxpayers, the U.S. Congress must quickly pass the Great Ape and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S. 810). This measure would retire the nearly 500 government-owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries, while saving taxpayers approximately $25 million per year.

Facts:

  • After the official closure of the chimpanzee laboratory at Bioqual, only five chimpanzee laboratories will remain in the United States.
  • A 2009 HSUS investigation of the New Iberia Research Center found several violations of the Animal Welfare Act. NIRC paid an $18,000 stipulation to the USDA to settle the matter and is currently under investigation by the USDA following the recent deaths of several monkeys at the facility.
  • A recent report from the Institute of Medicine could not identify a single area of current biomedical research for which chimpanzee use is essential.
  • The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S. 810) was introduced in April 2011 and currently has the support of more than 180 co-sponsors. The Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee on Water and Wildlife held a hearing on the bill in April 2012.
  • The United States and Gabon are the only remaining countries in the world that continue to use chimpanzees in harmful research. Australia, The European Union, Japan and New Zealand have banned or strictly limited their use.

Media Contact: Niki Ianni: 301-548-7793, nianni@humanesociety.org

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