Written by Jeff Mackey
Just six months after PETA announced that it had purchased stock in BIOQUAL—the company formerly known as "SEMA"—to urge it to phase out the
use of chimpanzees in experiments, the Washington Post reports that the company is doing just that.
BIOQUAL's announcement comes 25 years after Jane Goodall called for the closure of SEMA after undercover video footage released by PETA
revealed abysmal conditions in the lab. Baby chimpanzees were locked inside tiny
steel boxes in complete isolation and exhibited signs of insanity, rocking
incessantly in their dark cages. The misery of the SEMA chimpanzees is
documented in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's landmark book Free the Animals.
Until this development, little but its name seemed to have
changed at BIOQUAL. PETA recently used the Freedom of Information Act to secure
descriptions of BIOQUAL's experiments on chimpanzees. We learned that in one
experiment, six infant chimpanzees—some as young as 9 months of age—were taken
from their mothers, caged individually, exposed to a virus, and subjected to
months of painful liver, bone marrow, lymph node, and intestinal biopsies. This April, we
pointed out in official comments submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that these and other
experiments on chimpanzees at BIOQUAL were considered unnecessary by the Institute of Medicine in its landmark report on the scientific validity of experiments on
chimpanzees, and we called on the NIH to discontinue its funding.
Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, with psychological and physical needs that are strikingly similar to our own. They
are intelligent, have unique personalities, and are capable of experiencing
profound suffering. However, this has not saved them from being imprisoned,
stripped of their autonomy, and used in invasive and sometimes painful
experiments. The U.S. is the only developed country that continues to use
chimpanzees in invasive experiments, but the pending Great Ape Protection and
Cost Savings Act would ban invasive experiments on chimpanzees and retire more
than 600 federally owned chimpanzees.
Please tell your congressional representatives that all chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories should be
sent to reputable sanctuaries and allowed to live out their remaining years in
Written by PETA
Last week, champagne corks were popping at PETA HQ following the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) announcement that it is suspending funding for new experiments on chimpanzees because most of these studies are as scientifically unjustifiable as they are morally bankrupt.
Now we want to make certain that the rest of the vile vivisection industry gets the message too. So we purchased stock in the notorious private contract laboratory BIOQUAL for the express purpose of introducing a shareholder resolution calling on the company to stop tormenting chimpanzees in experiments.
For all you animal rights historians, BIOQUAL used to be called SEMA and was the site of a famous 1987 nighttime raid that blew the lid off the abysmal conditions for chimpanzees in laboratories. Video footage taken inside the facility revealed that baby chimpanzees were locked individually in tiny steel boxes in rooms so dark that employees had to bring flashlights to check on them. Following the release of the footage, Jane Goodall visited the laboratory and was so horrified that she called for its closure, describing it as "one of the very worst."
Apparently, not much has changed at BIOQUAL in the last quarter century. In one recent experiment at the facility, six young chimpanzees were separated from their mothers, locked in individual cages, and exposed to norovirus, which causes diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. The chimpanzees—who were as young as 2 years old—were then subjected to months of painful biopsies in which pieces of their organs were removed. The recent Institute of Medicine report determined that norovirus is one of the many diseases for which chimpanzees are not needed in order to find a cure.
While we hit BIOQUAL's boardroom to try to talk some sense into the hard-hearted execs there, you can help chimpanzees by clicking here to ask your members of Congress to cosponsor and support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would prohibit all invasive experiments on chimpanzees and other great apes.
Written by Jeremy Beckham
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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.