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

Corporate Commercials

Paws Down!
To CareerBuilder and Skechers for demeaning animals in their 2012 Super Bowl commercials.

Commercials featuring animals such as chimpanzees or racing greyhounds rarely show the whole story.

Once again CareerBuilder has shown chimpanzees as bumbling fools who like to play tricks on humans. Using wild animals in commercials sends a dangerous message to people who think they can maintain a chimpanzee as a pet. Wild and exotic animals, such as chimpanzees, can be unpredictable. In addition, whether stolen from the wild or captive bred, wild and exotic animals are deprived of their natural habitat, food supply, and companionship. Further, many of them are shipped around the country/world, which induces stress that causes much suffering and sometimes death. Once they become too old or dangerous to perform, they may be left to languish in cages or are sent to roadside zoos when they are no longer considered economically viable.

The Skechers commercial promoted an abusive sport, greyhound racing, to sell its product. Dogs born into the racing business suffer serious injuries during training and racing. These injuries are rarely treated. Dogs who are not able to race are often shot. While on the racing circuit, dogs are continuously confined in cages barely large enough for them to move around in. Racing greyhounds are given minimal veterinary treatment and suffer from poor nutrition. To ensure dogs race well, trainers often use performance-enhancing drugs. In addition, dogs often race in extreme temperatures in both summer and winter. Live animals, usually rabbits, are used in greyhound training—those animals are typically torn apart by the dogs once they are caught.

Take Action: Urge both of these corporations to discontinue using animals in their commercials. CareerBuilder should be advertising the human animal as we are the focus of the business. Skechers products are meant for human use. Showing humans racing would be a far more effective way to sell a product than using animals abused in the dog racing industry.

CareerBuilders
Matt Ferguson, Chief Executive Officer
CB Corporate Headquarters
200 N. LaSalle St., Suite 1100
Chicago, IL 60601
Tele. No.: 800-638-4212

Skechers
Robert Greenberg, Chairman and CEO
Skechers U.S.A., Inc.
228 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Tele. No.: 310-318-3100
Fax: 310-318-5019

Source:
Career Builder
Skechers

Scientific American Calls for Ban to Chimp Testing

Paws Up!

To the editors of Scientific American, for calling for a nationwide ban on biomedical testing using chimpanzees.

In a recent article, the widely read publication Scientific American called for an end to laboratory testing using chimpanzees in the United States, and expressed its support of HR 1513, The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011. Written by “the Editors,” the article states:

Photo by Dhammika Heenpella/Flickr

“In our view, the time has come to end biomedical experimentation on chimpanzees. The Senate bill would phase out invasive research on chimps over a three-year period, giving the researchers time to implement alternatives, after which the animals would be retired to sanctuaries.”

Chimpanzees are our closest cousins; they are highly intelligent and possess complex emotions; experiencing happiness, sorrow, pain, and loneliness, among others. On top of these similarities, humans and chimps carry 99 percent of our DNA in common. It’s a terrible irony that the very things that make chimpanzees and humans so similar are what make chimps so desirable for research. Having experiments performed on them for up to 50 years of their lives, laboratory chimpanzees often develop psychological disorders similar to post-traumatic-stress disorder and depression. Such extended periods of boredom and loneliness in the cage and the prolonged suffering of the experiments themselves often lead to a behavior of self inflicted injury, such as the chimps biting themselves.

Many alternatives to animal testing exist and have been proven study after study to be every bit as effective and in many ways much more reliable than tests using animals. There is an abundance of peer-reviewed research on the successes of using cell cultures, computer models and simulations, and clinical trials involving human volunteers. Even with the incredible genetic similarity between chimps and humans, many inconsistencies and erroneous findings have occurred by testing human products on non-human animals. Laboratory experiments with chimpanzees and all other animals is an antiquated and inefficient process to use in the 21st century.

Take Action: Contact the editors of Scientific American and congratulate them on making this step forward for the protection of chimpanzees, and encourage them to extend their compassion towards ending testing on the rest of the animal kingdom as well. HR 1513, the Great Ape Protection and Savings Act, is currently under review by the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Commerce and Energy. Contact the Chair and Vice-Chair of the subcommittee to urge their adoption of this important legislation.

Mariette DiChristina
Editor-in-Chief
Scientific American
415 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Tele. No.: 800-333-1199
Email: SCAcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com

The Honorable Joe Pitts
Chair
House Subcommittee on Health
Energy and Commerce Committee
420 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Tele. No.: 202-225-2411
Email: via webform

The Honorable Michael. C. Burgess
Vice-Chair
House Subcommittee on Health
Energy and Commerce Committee
2241 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Tele. No.: 202-225-7772
Email: via webform

Speak up for Chimpanzees

Photo by Tim Ellis

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is looking at the issue of whether to list captive chimpanzees as endangered. They are currently listed as threatened. NHES commends the Service for looking into this issue as we believe captive chimpanzees should be listed as endangered. Too often, animals used in biomedical research and in the entertainment field, as chimpanzees are used, are then considered by the general public to be prolific and therefore not needing protection. However, the numbers of wild chimpanzees have steadily decreased in the past couple decades. Couple that with the change in attitude about using chimpanzees for medical research and it’s time for all captive chimpanzees to be listed as endangered.

Write a note of support to the acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressing your position on captive chimpanzees being listed as endangered, not merely threatened.

Rowan W. Gould, Acting Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

When you think about it…does media exposure affect our view of chimpanzees?

Photo by David Lewis

Many years ago, there was chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs on the Today Show. Today, there are the CareerBuilder chimpanzees who appear in ads during the Super Bowl.

Whenever we place a wild animal in a human setting, whether in movies, in television shows, or in advertisements, are we giving humans the idea that these animals are not all that vicious, that they are not in danger of living deplorable lives, that it is okay for us to remove them from the wild to live and work among us?

When we see a human interacting with a chimpanzee, do we then believe that chimps might make good pets? Sometimes the answer is, “Yes,” with devastating results. In 2009, a chimp named Travis, a former television star, attacked and seriously injured a friend of his owner and was shot by police.

By depicting chimpanzees as companions of humans, are we hurting the cause of chimpanzee conservation? Again, the answer is, “Yes.” According to a study published in Science, “[The study] found that people were less likely to think that chimpanzees were endangered compared to other ape species and that this was because they more often saw chimps in movies, TV shows and advertisements.” “This study demonstrates the unfortunate reality that using chimpanzees for cheap comic relief on television means we pay a high price in terms of what the public understands about their endangered status in the wild….” “If we are serious about having chimpanzees survive in the wild, we can no longer look at the media’s use of chimpanzees this way as a joke.”

When you think about it…two dimensional images of chimpanzees can do serious damage to the three-dimensional ones eking out an existence in the wild.

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