The recent attack on a Connecticut woman by a chimpanzee named Travis served as stark reminder that great apes should never be kept as “pets” or used for entertainment. In the wake of this tragedy, we are happy to announce that Young & Rubicam (Y&R) (the fourth largest ad agency in America) has called on all its offices worldwide not to use great apes in any future advertising campaigns.
In a commentary that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Jane Goodall explains that the widespread portrayal of chimpanzees as cute clowns in ads, TV shows, and movies has misled the public about the dangers they pose. “Only a month ago,” she writes, “Americans watching the Super Bowl may have laughed at an ad in which chimpanzees dressed as mechanics worked on a car. … Is it any wonder viewers might think that chimpanzees would make great pets?”
Icing on the cake? Even the U.S. government is doing its part. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would ban the interstate transport of primates for use as pets. The bill is now going to the Senate, so please urge your senator to support this important legislation.
Written by Liz Graffeo