LOS ANGELES, CA – Dr. Jane Goodall, widely recognized as
one of the world’s most eminent primatologists, met with leaders of the
Hollywood-based film and television industries in Beverly Hills on
Tuesday [Oct. 14] to ask them to end the use of chimpanzees and other
great apes as performers.
"The time has come to move beyond the misuse of
creatures who are vulnerable to our exploitation precisely because they
are so like us," Goodall said.
Dr. Goodall, who was joined by members of the
Collaboratory, also introduced Sarah Baeckler, a young woman who spent
the last 14 months working with Hollywood animal trainers, researching
the often cruel and inhumane methods they use to make chimpanzees and
other primates perform.
Baeckler’s testimony included numerous references to
abusive behavior she observed while working at the Amazing Animal Actors
training facility in Malibu. Baeckler logged over 1,000 hours at the
facility, which features five chimpanzees among its menagerie. Baeckler
said she saw trainers repeatedly kick, punch and beat chimps with
hammers to make them obedient.
The Chimpanzee Collaboratory’s appeal kicked off the
“Serving a Life Sentence…
For Your Viewing Pleasure” campaign, which will seek to get actors,
writers, directors and producers in Hollywood to cease the use of great
apes in films, TV and advertising.
It is estimated that approximately
150 chimpanzees, orangutans and other great apes are held at
entertainment training facilities in the U.S., yet the fact that most
are “retired” after the age of eight condemns them to more than 50 years
of idle imprisonment.
The Collaboratory is asking leaders in Hollywood to sign
a pledge calling for an immediate end to the use of great apes in
entertainment and stating that they will refuse to work on productions
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