Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
As part of a
four-part series on chimpanzees in laboratories published this week, Wired.com
tells the story of a chimpanzee named Katrina who was taken from her mother as
an infant to be infected with HIV and hepatitis B and C, even though chimpanzees'
bodies don't react to these diseases in the same way as humans' do. Katrina was
anesthetized almost 300 times by the age of 15 and was never given any
painkillers after numerous invasive liver biopsies. This caged, lonely life,
punctuated by fear and pain, so traumatized Katrina that she developed symptoms
of severe post-traumatic stress disorder and has lost a third of her body weight.
the fact that Katrina was supposedly retired in 2002, she is one of 14
chimpanzees who were sent to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research eight
years later for use in more invasive and painful
infectious disease experiments. (Pressure from PETA and other groups successfully halted
the transfer of 200 other chimpanzees.) Katrina's plight graphically
illustrates how high the stakes are in the fight to ban experiments on great
The Wired series
and another story that ran this week in The New York Times
come just weeks before the Institute
scheduled December release of its report on the issue.
Last month, the
editors at Scientific American
came out in favor of banning experiments on chimpanzees. To continue to build
momentum for the ban, please also post positive comments in response to the Wired
articles. Click here to ask
your members of Congress
to support the Great Ape
Protection and Cost Savings Act,
which would ban invasive experiments on all great apes and retire all federally
owned chimpanzees currently in laboratories to sanctuaries.
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