Project R&R Scientific and Academic Community Petition

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Originally Posted: 5 June 2011

Project R&R Scientific and Academic Community Petition

[Ed. Note: If you are a scientist or academic professional, please sign. If you are NOT, please forward to your lists to reach out to scientists and academic professionals!]

FROM Project R&R (Release & Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories) , a project of  New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)

ACTION

Scientists and Academic Professionals: Please Sign to Show Your Support

Your signature and that of other scientists and academic professionals help us build the momentum necessary to end the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research in the U.S. and to provide them permanent sanctuary. If you are an MD, DO, DVM, DDS, DMD, RN, PsyD, PhD, or EdD, please sign today! And please email your colleagues to do the same.

Project R&R will deliver this petition to key U.S. legislators and other policy makers who can help us change laws, release chimpanzees, and retire them to sanctuaries.

The lives of some 1,000 chimpanzees are depending on us.

Sign an online petition

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Chimpanzees are humans' closest genetic relatives, sharing 96-98% of our DNA. As a result, we recognize ourselves in their intelligence, social and family life, and complex emotions and behavioral needs.

Yet a growing body of scientific evidence is showing that even seemingly small genetic differences between chimpanzees and humans call into question their use in research to benefit humans. The scientific debate includes strong arguments of how ineffective, unnecessary, and even dangerous research on chimpanzees can be in our attempts to understand human health and disease.

At the same time, chimpanzees' emotional, cognitive, and behavioral similarities to us force an ethical challenge to their use, with growing scientific evidence pointing to the psychological suffering and trauma they endure in laboratories ... suffering that has life-long implications for their well-being.

Today, some 1,000 chimpanzees are confined in U.S. labs. Some were wild-caught as babies in Africa; others were born in a lab or sent from zoos, circuses, owners, or trainers. Some were taught to communicate using sign language or raised in family settings only to be sent to biomedical laboratories when federal funding ran out, or they became too strong to manage.
Nearly all of them have spent decades confined to a laboratory cage - for most, their entire lives.

Project R&R, a national campaign of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, is a promise to every one of our chimpanzee next of kin, a promise that we will work until every chimpanzee now held in laboratory confinement is released and allowed restitution in the safety and comfort of sanctuary before they die.

Please sign the Project R&R petition today, and ask your colleagues to do the same. The lives of some 1,000 chimpanzees are depending on us.

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This petition is dedicated to Jeannie. Her dignity in the face of her painful history and her strength in sanctuary recovering from the emotional scars of her trauma remind us of how important our work is for all of those remaining in labs:

Jeannie’s Story

Jeannie was born on October 7, 1975, most likely in a lab. When she was only six years old, her owners, pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp & Dohme, donated her to the Buckshire Corporation, a private lab.

In 1988, Jeannie entered New York University’s Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP). In 1993, when she was 18 years old, Jeannie was infected with HIV. For the next two years, she endured intensive studies and suffered indignities. Records show that Jeannie was repeatedly given vaginal washes and cervical biopsies. She often needed to be treated for self-inflicted wounds and suffered from anorexia - refusing to eat.

In 1995, as her stress and inability to cope mounted, she had a “nervous breakdown,” and spent the next two years heavily medicated for anxiety. However, the medication did not help or prevent her from having episodes during which she screamed, ripped off her fingernails, and thrashed out at anyone who came near. Nor did her emotionally debilitated condition get her released from the lab sooner.

When LEMSIP closed, Jeannie was rescued into sanctuary at Fauna Foundation where her caregivers ensured that she received love, respect, and everything she needed to continue on her road to recovery.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!