UPDATE: In June 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would give the same protections to chimpanzees held in captivity as it does their free-living cousins in Africa! Learn more.
NEAVS, along with HSUS and other organizations, filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2010 requesting the agency “uplist” the status of captive chimpanzees from threatened to endangered. FWS agreed to review the request: “Based on our review, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing all chimpanzees as endangered may be warranted.”
In June 2013 FWS announced a proposal to protect all chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – whether free living in Africa or held in a U.S. lab or other captive situations. Learn more
The Endangered Species Act protects wildlife and promotes conservation, but captive chimpanzees who are only listed as threatened are deprived of protections afforded their free-living kin, who are listed as endangered. Captive U.S. chimpanzees are used in entertainment, invasive research, and are kept as exotic pets.
The petition states, "It is clear that exploitation of this species for biomedical purposes has not positively benefitted chimpanzees in captivity or in the wild … and undermines chimpanzee conservation." The petition further argues that this unusual split listing is "scientifically unjustifiable."
The organizations behind the petition include the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, the Fund for Animals, and Humane Society International.