Help Protect Great Apes

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Originally Posted: 20 May 2010

Help Protect Great Apes

FROM American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS)

Please contact your U.S. Representative immediately (again?!) and encourage him/her to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326), which would end invasive research on great apes.


Sign an online petition

And/Or make direct contact:

How to find and contact your U.S. Representative


Support for the Great Ape Protection Act is growing fast. Since our last update in October, the number of co-signers has doubled, growing from 69 to 145, and the bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. However, we still need your help to move it forward!

As AAVS supporters may recall, the Great Ape Protection Act was first introduced in 2008, but because it did not receive a vote before the Congressional session ran out, the bill remained stagnant. Then, on the heels of the release of an investigation into abuse of chimpanzees and monkeys at Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center, our nation’s largest primate research facility, Congress reintroduced the Great Ape Protection Act in March last year.

This groundbreaking legislation would end invasive research on over 1,000 chimpanzees still languishing in U.S. laboratories, and prohibit such experiments on all great apes (defined as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons). In addition, the law would end the transport and breeding of great apes for the purpose of invasive research, and permanently ban the federal funding of chimpanzee breeding programs. It would also require relocation of federally-owned chimpanzees to permanent retirement facilities, a move that AAVS has supported since 1999 when we were instrumental in aiding the development of the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection (CHIMP) Act. According to the Great Ape Protect Act, care for great apes in a research laboratory can range from $300,000 to $500,000, whereas the cost of providing sanctuary is approximately $275,000 per animal.

The bill was introduced and reintroduced by U.S. Representative Edolphus Towns (D-NY), who is the Chair of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, and recently hosted a Congressional briefing on the legislation. The bill defines ‘invasive research’ as any experiment that may cause “death, bodily injury, pain, distress, fear, injury, or trauma,” including psychological experiments of social deprivation and isolation.

Currently, six countries have either banned or severely limited the use of great apes in research projects, including Australia, Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. In addition, Great Britain stopped granting licenses for chimpanzee research in 1997, and the Balearic Islands granted legal rights to great apes in 2007.

To learn more about the use of primates in labs, visit Stop Animal Exploitation NOW! (SAEN).

Thank you for everything you do for animals!