When you think about it…retiring some while squeezing others doesn’t make sense.

New policy takes one step forward, and two steps back.

New policy takes one step forward, and two steps back.

Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced, on at least two occasions, that the agency would be retiring laboratory chimpanzees. For all of us in animal welfare circles, we applauded their decision. Now we read, in a recent article, NIH has decided the remaining research chimps don’t need as much space in which to live. So, if you’re an old chimp, you get the freedom of a sanctuary; but if you’re considered necessary for scientific experimentation, you get a couple hundred square feet. We shouldn’t be squeezing any animal into a confined space. We should be ensuring they all have reasonable retirements after the invasive tests done on them. For when you think about it…retiring some while squeezing others doesn’t make sense.

Stop Airline from Shipping Primates to Research Laboratories

ABX Air continues to ship nonhuman primates for use in research laboratories.
ABX Air continues to ship live primates for use in research laboratories.

ABX Air, a cargo airline company, is transporting live primates to research laboratories in the United States at a time when the National Institutes of Health is releasing many chimpanzees from research laboratories in the United States to appropriate, long-term sanctuaries. As more research organizations and countries end testing on laboratory animals for a variety of products, it’s time that ABX Air refuses to transport animals for research purposes.

Write a polite note to the CEO and president of ABX Air urging them to discontinue shipping primates for research purposes.

Joe Hete, CEO
John Starkovich, President
ABX Air, Inc.
145 Hunter Drive
Wilmington, OH 45177

When you think about it…it makes sense.

An organization is working towards giving captive chimpanzees  nonhuman rights such as bodily integrity and liberty.

An organization is working towards giving captive chimpanzees nonhuman rights such as bodily integrity and liberty.

Would it be fair to say some animals deserve protection under the law greater than what their current designation as “thing” allows them? An organization is seeking status of “legal person” for captive chimpanzees in an effort to give them rights such as the right of bodily integrity and bodily liberty. Such status would give them rights not to be treated invasively or kept confined in cages their entire lives.

As we evolve our standards of morality, as scientific discovery reveals to us the capacities some animals have far beyond what we ever thought possible, as we have direct experience with animals whose intelligence astounds us, isn’t it time we give some of these animals greater protection under the law than as mere possessions of a human-dominated world?

In 2008, the Spanish Parliament granted certain legal rights to gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans. Other countries have added language to their laws that give greater protection to nonhuman primates than is given to cars and toasters. When you think about it…it makes sense.

 

When you think about it…a species with a brain should be able to think.

The intelligence of animals is often times underestimated.

The intelligence of animals is often times underestimated.

For centuries, animals were considered nothing more than robots, machines that made noises but nothing more. They were considered to have no intelligence and certainly couldn’t learn other than by constant repetition. They certainly couldn’t use tools or show emotions like love.

However, the more we engage with animals where they are—not where we think they should be—the more we learn that we have underestimated them.

When given a stick to find food, a chimpanzee can fashion it into a tool to dig termites out of rotted tree trunks. When given a stick to reach food, an elephant ignores it. Are elephants “dumber” than chimpanzees? No, elephants don’t use sticks the way chimps do. If an elephant wants to reach food, especially food suspended above her head, she will extend her trunk. If the food is too high, and there is a suitable object that the elephant can step on to reach the food, the elephant will move that object and step up to grab the food. Once we begin to recognize the species’ differences, and develop “tests” to test their abilities on their terms, the more we learn about their intelligence.

Can animals love? Can they show compassion and empathy for their own kind or for other species? Can they learn by adapting what they already know to new situations? The answer to these and other questions about animal intelligence is more often today “yes.” When you think about it, a species with a brain should be able to think.

More Research Chimpanzees to Be Retired

PawsUp

Paws Up!
To the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for sparing over 400 chimpanzees from further medical research.

The National Institutes of Health are permanently retiring almost all of their 451 research chimpanzees to sanctuaries.

The National Institutes of Health are permanently retiring almost all of their 451 research chimpanzees to sanctuaries.

According to a news story , “Almost all of the 451 chimpanzees owned or supported by the National Institutes of Health that are now at research facilities should be permanently retired from research and moved to sanctuaries, with planning for the move to start immediately….”

This is the second time in recent weeks that NIH has announced the retirement of research chimpanzees to sanctuaries.

Take Action: Write a note to the director of the National Institutes of Health thanking his agency for recognizing the need to spare these chimpanzees further time in medical laboratories.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

CareerBuilder Spares Chimpanzees

PawsUpPaws Up!
To CareerBuilder for not airing ads during this year’s Super Bowl featuring chimpanzees driving cars, wearing suits, and otherwise acting like humans.

According to a news article, “CareerBuilder has announced that it will not run any of its longstanding series of commercials featuring chimpanzees during this year’s game, according to a report from Ad Age. The commercials, which depict chimps in suits in

Chimpanzees used in entertainment are usually adolescents, like the one pictured. As Chimpanzees grow to adulthood, their acting days end and the chimpanzee may be sold for research or worse.

Chimpanzees used in entertainment are usually adolescents, like the one pictured. As chimps grow to adulthood, their acting days end and the chimpanzee may be sold for research or worse.

business settings, have been heavily criticized by animal-rights groups as damaging to conservation efforts to protect the increasingly rare apes.”

Wild and exotic animals, such as chimpanzees, can be unpredictable. Even people who have spent years training wild animals have experienced violent attacks, pain, and suffering. Beyond concern for potential human injury is, of course, concern for the wild and exotic animals forced to participate in the entertainment industry. Whether stolen from the wild or captive bred, these animals are deprived of their natural habitat, food supply, and companionship necessary to fulfill their instincts.

Often, wild animals are shipped around the country/world, which induces stress that causes much suffering and sometimes death. In addition, many animals are discarded once they become too old or dangerous to perform, are left to languish in cages, or are sent to roadside zoos when they are no longer considered economically viable.

Wild and exotic animals experience much neglect and cruelty, in part, because there is little oversight or control of exhibitors. Even when sanctioned by licensing agents, exhibitors continue to exploit their animals while placing the public in danger.

Ultimately, many “trained” wild animals are, in reality, subservient and apathetic creatures. It is in depriving these sentient animals of their homes and natural lives and in forcing them to participate in unnatural behaviors that cause them to sometimes, and tragically, respond in unpredictable and lethal ways.

Take Action: Contact the CEO of CareerBuilder to thank him for his company’s decision and encourage his company to reject using wild and exotic animals in any CareerBuilder ads.

Matt Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer
CB Corporate Headquarters
200 N. LaSalle St., Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601
Tele. No.: 773-527-3600

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Research Chimpanzees Will Be Retired

PawsUpPaws Up!
To the National Institutes of Health for retiring 106 research chimpanzees to a sanctuary.

According to a news story , “The National Institutes of Health has announced that they will move all 106 of the chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center to Chimp Haven, a federal chimpanzee sanctuary in Keithville, La.”

NHES hopes that in the future, all research animals will be retired to sanctuaries.

NHES hopes that in the future, all research animals will be retired to sanctuaries.

The move will take place beginning in the new year and continue for several months as the animals will be moved in small groups.

Scientists the world over have learned that tests on one species do not determine how another species will be affected. Today, with advances in tissue engineering and robotics, bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, metabonomics, systems biology, and in silico (computer-based) system, we have numerous alternatives to animal use. Animal testing can take months if not years at expenses ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to multi-millions of dollars, whereas computer modeling can take place instantaneously and at far lower costs, especially the cost to the animals and their suffering. In vitro tests involving human cell and tissue cultures are faster, cheaper, and more reliable than animal tests in many instances.

Take Action: Write a note to the director of the National Institutes of Health thanking his agency for recognizing the need to spare these chimpanzees further time in a medical laboratory. Urge him and his colleagues to continue to retire laboratory animals while they increase the use of non-animal testing methods.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

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