IDA Writing Alert: Feds exit the chimp breeding business

May 29th, 2007 4:14 pm by Kelly Garbato

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: In Defense of Animals – takeaction [at]
Date: May 29, 2007 2:41 PM
Subject: Writing Alert: Feds exit the chimp breeding business

The Orange County Register and many publications across the country published an article about the NIH’s announcement that it will end breeding chimpanzees for research. Please write a letter to the editor of the Orange County Register to support a ban on chimpanzee breeding. Call on the agency to go one step further by making a commitment to end chimpanzee research. Send letters to the Register at letters [at]

Read “Feds exit the chimp breeding business” online.

Feds exit the chimp breeding business
Animal rights groups cheer the move by the National Institutes of Health.


The U.S. National Institutes of Health, which supports a variety of biomedical studies using animals, will stop breeding government-owned chimpanzees for medical research – a step animal rights advocates lauded.

The NIH’s National Center for Research Resources cited financial reasons for its decision this week to permanently cease breeding of government-owned chimpanzees for research. A breeding moratorium on NCRR-owned and supported chimpanzees had been in place since 1995.

The Humane Society of the United States said it suspects that ethical reasons also were involved in the decision. The group, which opposes the use of these apes as lab animals, said the decision on ending breeding likely also means NIH no longer will be acquiring new chimpanzees through other means.

Because chimpanzees are physiologically and genetically similar to people, they have been used in medical research defended by many scientists but scorned by animals rights advocates on ethical grounds.

“This decision is a huge step towards a day when chimpanzees are no longer used in invasive biomedical research and testing,” said Kathleen Conlee of the Humane Society.

“This will spare some chimpanzees a life of up to 60 years in a laboratory. While it doesn’t help chimpanzees already living in laboratories, it is a monumental decision,” Conlee added. “Our ultimate goal is to put an end (to) the use of chimpanzees in research and retire those chimpanzees to permanent and appropriate sanctuary.”

The Humane Society said the NCRR’s chimpanzee population includes about 500 in laboratories and 90 more in a federal sanctuary for those deemed no longer needed for research.

In a statement on its Web site, NCRR said it acknowledges the continuing importance of chimpanzees to biomedical research, but cited “fiduciary responsibilities” to maintain the health and well-being of chimpanzees already in its care.

The center said chimpanzees can live at least 50 years in captivity, and that high-quality care for a single animal over its lifespan can cost up to $500,000. It said it also must meet budget responsibilities to other programs and resources.

The advocacy group Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories said about 1,300 chimpanzees are currently in U.S. laboratories. It said some were caught in the wild as babies in Africa while others were born in laboratories or sent from zoos, circuses and animal trainers.

Please use the information at to assist you with your letter.

Letters should be less than 200 words. Please do not send attachments. Please remember to include your full name, address, and phone number (for verification purposes–street names and phone numbers will not be published) and not to use any wording in this alert or cross-post it to other lists. Thanks and good luck!

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for IDA’s Action Center.

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with more than 85,000 members and supporters dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of animals by protecting their rights and welfare. IDA’s efforts include educational events, cruelty investigations, boycotts, grassroots activism, and hands-on rescue through our sanctuaries in Mississippi and Cameroon, Africa.

In Defense of Animals 3010 Kerner Blvd., San Rafael, California 94901 – P: (415) 388-9641 F: (415) 388-0388

email: idainfo [at]



Be Sociable, Share!

Filed under , , , ,

Leave a Reply