Written by Jeff Mackey
For decades, PETA has been calling for an end to the cruel and irrelevant use of
chimpanzees in experimentation. We’ve made significant progress over the years bring an end to this national
disgrace, and now
government is finally taking concrete steps to do the same.
© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
At a historic meeting
this afternoon, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee recommended
that the agency cut funding for seven of the nine current taxpayer-funded
grants for biomedical experiments on chimpanzees and fully or partially cut
funding for 12 of 13 behavioral studies. With regard to the fate of these 360
NIH-owned chimpanzees, the committee stated that "the majority of
NIH-owned chimpanzees should be designated for retirement and transferred to
the federal sanctuary system. Planning should start immediately ...."
The NIH's momentous move follows the landmark 2011 finding of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that "most current biomedical research use of
chimpanzees is not necessary." After the report's release, the NIH formed a committee to determine, among
other things, which taxpayer-funded projects should be ended and how many
chimpanzees should be retired.
PETA submitted recommendations calling for a complete end to
experimentation on chimpanzees to both IOM and NIH during these deliberations—and
that's just one part of the extensive groundwork that led to this exciting
development. Every step of the way, PETA has relentlessly pursued any and all
avenues to uncover abuse to chimpanzees in laboratories and has advocated for
the creation of stronger federal policy and legislation to protect chimpanzees
from being tormented in experiments.
has exposed cruelty in laboratories,
filed complaints against laboratories
that experiment on chimpanzees, reached out to Members of Congress, organized demonstrations, gained celebrity support, filed shareholder
resolutions, launched online advocacy
campaigns, and called for an end to this barbaric practice in popular and academic publications.
The end is in sight, but we must not stop until all
chimpanzees are out of laboratories. Please sign PETA's petition asking Congress to retire all
federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
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.
This time, the sad news comes from Japan: Pan-kun, a
well-known chimpanzee from the Aso Cuddly Dominion Zoo who is forced to dress
in costumes and perform for gawking audiences, erupted in frustration after a
show and violently
attacked a student trainee. Pan-kun remains at the zoo but has been "retired"
from performing. The young woman has been hospitalized.
Because chimpanzees, monkeys, and other nonhuman primates remind us of ourselves, we're fascinated to observe them—but incarcerating exotic animals far from
their natural environment and society can result in unpredictable and dangerous behavior.
We hardly needed yet another example of how the growing frustration of wild animals who are held captive and made to
do stupid tricks for our amusement under the threat of physical punishment turns
them into ticking time bombs.
But here it is. And there'll be more so long as we keep compelling smart,
sensitive, and complex animals to entertain us against their will.
You can help. Sign PETA's pledge never to support film and television productions that
exploit great ape "actors."
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 Michelle Kretzer
goes gaga for vegan food, learn how to show bunnies some love this Valentine's
Day, and help us ask Florida not to change its slogan to "The Hoarder
State." Here's everything in PETA's world that you might have missed this
miss any breaking animal rights stories. Hop on over to PETA's Tumblr page for the latest:
Written by Jennifer OConnor
Federal laws are known for having loopholes,
and a regulation that allows notorious animal abusers and profiteers to use
chimpanzees for purely commercial purposes and in horrific laboratory experiments needs to be closed right now. Currently, only wild chimpanzees are protected as
endangered under the Endangered Species Act—captive chimpanzees are
these protections—but that could soon change.
The U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed an amendment that would remove this
major exemption and protect wild and captive chimpanzees equally for the first
time. PETA supports this new rule
since it means captive chimpanzees who are forced to perform confusing and
unnatural tricks in the name of entertainment and who suffer at the hands of callous experimenters would be given
the full protection of the Endangered Species
Act, which prohibits harming and harassing listed species.
The FWS is asking the public for comments on this
proposed change and needs to hear from you by the end of the day on January 30.
Click here to urge the FWS to give captive chimpanzees the same protections currently
afforded to their wild counterparts.
Bananas? We don't need no stinkin'
bananas. At least Kanzi
the bonobo doesn't. He taught himself how to make fire and
have their own emergency broadcast system. They use special sounds to warn
their unaware friends about danger, but they don't send out a warning when the
other chimpanzees already see it. This turns the belief that only humans
recognize that others are not informed on its head.
Shiny Things | cc by 2.0
pigeons are once again showing
why "birdbrain" is a compliment. The birds are proving that they can
count by putting groups of items in order by quantity.
We all read City Mouse, Country Mouse,
but what about city bird, country bird? When flirting, urban birds
adjust their voices to be heard over the din of the city, so they sing
differently from their country cousins.
and cows certainly
aren't cousins, but they can become best friends. When a cow named Wanda
escaped from a farm, she eluded capture for five months, living with a herd of
deer who would stomp on the ground to let Wanda know that their acute senses
detected people approaching. Wanda now has a home on a farm and is not in
danger of being slaughtered.
Of course, for a best friend whose
loyalty is unmatched, one need look no further than a dog. A Russian dog
stood guard over the body of his deceased canine companion for two weeks in
temperatures of negative-58 degrees Fahrenheit. Animal advocates caught him and
took him to a local animal shelter, where he will stay while they search for a
For more amazing animal stories, check
out an article on the new
book Animal Tool Behavior.
A chimpanzee named Cheetah,
who reportedly played Johnny Weissmuller's
sidekick in the old Tarzan movies,
has died. There is some debate
over Cheetah's credentials, but regardless of whether he
ever acted in the Tarzan movies, he
almost certainly was torn away from his family and home when he was just a baby
and spent decades being exploited by humans.
He ended his years
in a Florida "scamtuary"—a facility formerly known as the Chimp Farm—which
confined intelligent primates to cramped concrete and iron cells. Unfortunately, little has improved
since the outfit gave itself the misleadingly grandiose name of Suncoast
Primate Sanctuary and the original owner's granddaughter took over operations.
Ending up in decrepit roadside zoos
is often how animal "actors" are "retired." Please never
buy a ticket to a movie that uses animals
instead of innovative computer-generated
and never visit roadside zoos and pseudo-sanctuaries that continue to exploit formerly famous animals to their dying day.
Just hours after the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) announced the findings of its long-awaited report on the scientific validity of experiments on chimpanzees, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which commissioned the report, announced that it was suspending funding for any new experiments on chimpanzees. All currently funded experiments on chimpanzees will be re-evaluated, and funding for many may end.
You may remember that we testified at the IOM committee's hearing on the issue last summer. The committee listened to us and to the scientists who testified and concluded that "most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary."
© Smileus | iStockPhoto.com
NIH had originally commissioned the study in response to the outcry from PETA and other animal protection groups when the agency tried to pull more than 200 chimpanzees out of retirement at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico and send them back to laboratories. PETA, politicians, and other animal advocates stopped the move, and now, none of the chimpanzees at Alamorgordo, or any other NIH-owned chimpanzees not currently enrolled in experiments, can be used pending a further review by NIH.
This may well be the beginning of the end of chimpanzee experimentation. However, until these experiments are permanently banned, hundreds of chimpanzees are still in peril, which is why it remains vital that Congress pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would phase out the use of all chimpanzees in invasive experiments and permanently retire more than 600 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, where they could live in peace at last. You can help by clicking here to urge your congressional representatives to pass this groundbreaking law and end the use of all great apes in experiments.
Experts are calling on director Cameron Crowe
to stop using primates as props in his films, like his upcoming We Bought a Zoo:
see an animal in a movie, commercial, or print advertisement, please let us know email@example.com so that we can take
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
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
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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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.