Written by PETA
UPDATE: Santa is making his rounds early this year, and this time,
he's come through for more than 100 chimpanzees "owned" by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) who are being released from the horrendous New
Iberia Research Center. Following pleas by PETA and many others, NIH—after initially announcing a misguided
plan to send most of the chimpanzees to a notorious Texas laboratory—has now declared that all the animals will instead be properly retired to a sanctuary!
While this means a truly happy new year (with more to come)
for the New Iberia chimpanzees, many others remain in miserable laboratories,
where they are subjected
to physically and mentally traumatic experiments and captivity. Do like old St. Nick and give them a gift this holiday season: Urge the government to retire all its chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
Originally posted on September 23rd:
than 100 chimpanzees will soon be freed from laboratory cages after years of
pressure by PETA and other animal protection groups led the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to announce that it
will be permanently retiring all the federally "owned" chimpanzees at the New
Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, making them off limits for future
announcement follows a landmark report issued last year by the National
Academy of Sciences (NAS), which concluded
that "most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not
necessary." In the wake of that report, NIH announced that it was
suspending funding for any new experiments on chimpanzees and that it would be
reevaluating currently funded experiments on chimpanzees.
seems that NIH is making good on its promise.
has campaigned for the release of chimpanzees from laboratories for decades. In addition to publicizing
video footage showing the abuse of chimpanzees in
laboratories, PETA successfully campaigned for the permanent
retirement of the more than 200
chimpanzees held at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. We
also submitted comments to and testified before the NAS, and we submitted official comments
to NIH this spring outlining recommendations for the agency's implementation of
the NAS report, including calling for the retirement of all chimpanzees in
NIH's announcement marks a tremendous step forward, hundreds more
chimpanzees—in federally funded and private laboratories—must still be retired.
your congressional representatives to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which
would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees and retire all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
Written by Jeff Mackey
In response to a series of significant animal welfare
violations and complaints filed by PETA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) has taken the rare step of fining the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) almost $12,000 for repeated violations of the federal Animal Welfare
Act. ONPRC imprisons, sickens, terrorizes, and mutilates thousands of monkeys
each year in experiments with impunity, so it's good to know that the facility
will be punished for causing animals to suffer more by failing to uphold even
The violations, which took place in 2009, included the escape of nine monkeys from the facility as well as the deaths of five other monkeys from a variety of
causes, including from dehydration, being injected with unapproved compounds, and improper procedures performed by an inadequately trained employee.
Following the escape, PETA called on the USDA to investigate and issue a fine
In 2007, PETA conducted a shocking undercover investigation, which exposed horrific laboratory conditions at ONPRC. The next year, the USDA
issued an "official
warning"—the precursor to a fine—to ONPRC. Internal documents obtained by PETA had revealed
that a sick pregnant monkey died after being denied veterinary care, that a
surgical sponge was left in a baboon—causing an abscess—and was discovered only
after he was killed for an experiment, and that experimenters mistakenly
performed surgery on the wrong monkey. After repeatedly finding negligence and
callous disregard, federal investigators are finally speaking the only language
that ONPRC understands: dollars and cents.
Take a stand for the animals imprisoned at ONPRC. Ask the National Institutes of
Health to stop funding cruel and useless nicotine experiments on animals at ONPRC and
UPDATE: On June 8, 2011, the IOM announced that another biased member of the committee whom PETA had objected to, John Stobo, would also no longer be serving on the committee.
Last year, under pressure from PETA and others, the National Institutes of Health halted plans to send nearly 200 retired chimpanzees back to a laboratory. Smarting from the public outcry, NIH asked the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a study to determine whether the U.S. should continue to be the only nation in the industrialized world to allow invasive experiments on chimpanzees.
The answer seems obvious, especially given the public's overwhelming disapproval of treating our closest living relatives like laboratory equipment. But instead of giving chimpanzees a fair shake, the IOM stacked its recently announced 15-member review committee with animal experimenters and people from institutions that have openly lobbied against federal legislation to end chimpanzee experimentation. Not only did the IOM not disclose these blatant conflicts of interest, as is required by law, it also stated that anyone representing an animal advocacy group was automatically disqualified from serving on the committee!
PETA immediately wrote to the IOM protesting the biased committee and calling for it to be disbanded. After hearing from us, the IOM has removed two of the members we objected to, including one who works for a pharmaceutical company that experiments on chimpanzees. Now, if only the IOM would balance the scales and replace those two with people who see animals as more than furry test tubes.
You can help keep chimpanzees out of laboratories by letting your senators and representatives know that you support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees and other great apes once and for all.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Update: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has written to National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins urging him to scrap plans to transfer more than 200 "retired" chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research laboratory in Texas. He has also requested the return of 15 chimpanzees who have already been transferred.
"New Mexico wants to save these chimpanzees, who have already given so much of their lives to the American public as part of medical research studies," says the governor. "There is a compassionate and prudent alternative to the National Center for Research Resources' plan, and I feel strongly that we must save the chimpanzees."
Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is also working hard to ensure that the chimpanzees are spared from further experiments. Stay tuned for more updates.
The folks at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) must have had their fingers crossed behind their backs when they "retired" 288 chimpanzees—who had previously been used in Air Force gravity experiments—to the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) in New Mexico. I say this because NIH has now decided to "unretire" the surviving chimpanzees (more than 21 have died in the decade they've spent warehoused in cages at APF, including three who died by electrocution because of unsafe conditions). The animals will be sent to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) laboratory in Texas, where they will likely be subjected to cruel experiments.
SFBR might sound familiar to readers of this blog because it is the same laboratory where two baboons escaped from cages in May and attacked two employees. PETA filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which then cited SFBR for failure to handle animals in a manner that does not cause trauma or physical harm as well as failure to provide animals with adequate and safe housing. SFBR had previously been cited twice—in 2009 and in February of this year—for failure to house animals in structurally sound enclosures in order to prevent them from escaping and injuring themselves and others. In one incident, a monkey escaped from a cage, got outside into the freezing cold, suffered from hypothermia, and later was euthanized as a result.
SFBR's "punishment" for these offenses? It gets more than 200 chimpanzees to confine, scare, poke, and prod.
Half of the chimpanzees at APF have been living in cages for at least a quarter of a century. As PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo wrote today in a letter to NIH, it's time to truly retire these primates to a sanctuary, rather than sending them back to a laboratory where they are sure to endure tremendous physical and psychological trauma, possibly for the rest of their lives—which could last another quarter century or more.
Please take a minute to send your own letter to APF and let it know that "retirement" means living the rest of your life free from stress (and not confined to a cage).
Written by Alisa Mullins
Hold onto your hats, folks. The University of Michigan has been forced to pay back $1.4 million (yes, that's with seven digits) after it "accidentally" used federal grant money for experiments on animals that it continued long after its approval had lapsed.
The massive refund came to light after PETA filed a Freedom of Information Act request and uncovered documents indicating that U-M had violated federal regulations and guidelines on numerous occasions, including allowing animals to die from starvation and dehydration, performing unauthorized surgeries, and "inadvertently" throwing dozens of animals into a trash compactor.
One U-M experimenter injected a rabbit with an unauthorized anesthetic, which meant that the rabbit had to be euthanized after suffering necrosis of ear tissue and trauma to the eye. In another incident, half a dozen animals died when the chamber in which their cages had been placed caught fire. Some of the animals died of smoke inhalation, while others drowned as their cages filled with water from the sprinkler system.
Most importantly costly, as it turned out, U-M was charging the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the care of animals who were no longer enrolled in approved experiments. In a March 2007 internal investigation ordered by NIH, U-M determined that over a period of six months, there were 33 incidents in which experimenters continued to test on animals even though the experiments did not have the required approval from the oversight committee.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when the folks who are supposed to implement universities' so-called "animal care and use programs" just … well … don't, and when big, bloated bureaucracies like NIH—which gave U-M $423.2 million in 2008 alone—throw money at guys in white lab coats without bothering to check and see what they're actually doing with it.
We're now calling on NIH revoke the University of Michigan's "assurance," which allows U-M to receive federal funding to perform experiments on animals. Hey, it never hurts to ask, right?
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.