UPDATE: The comment period is closed. 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.
In response to a rulemaking petition submitted by NEAVS, HSUS, and other organizations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has issued a proposed rule that would increase protections for chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act.
Read NEAVS' comments submitted to FWS here.
Currently, chimpanzees in U.S. captivity – listed only as a threatened species – are deprived of federal protection even though free-living chimpanzees in Africa are listed as endangered. This discrepancy allows for their exploitation in research and other areas of captive use.
The new proposed rule would list both captive and free-living chimpanzees as "endangered." This status would prohibit any research that does not benefit the survival of the chimpanzee species – essentially, nearly all areas of their past biomedical use for purported human health.
USFWS needs to hear from you in support of listing U.S. captive chimpanzees as endangered during its 60-day comment period.
1. Click here to add your comments in support of making the proposed endangered listing a reality!
2. Or, you can submit by mail to:
Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R9–ES–2010–0086
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM
Arlington, VA 22203
Your polite and encouraging language can include the following:
Thank you for completing a thorough scientific review of the status of chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act, and for proposing that all chimpanzees be listed as endangered. I support the proposed rule as it will increase protections for captive chimpanzees in the U.S. and promote species conservation in the wild.
Captive chimpanzees have been sacrificed to research for decades in areas that had limited, no, and even dangerous or counterproductive results to human health. Up-listing them to endangered, whether in captivity or free living, would restrict their unnecessary and unproductive use in research unless it would benefit chimpanzees.
Thank you for your commitment to the survival of chimpanzees as a species, to the right of future generations of humans to know the chimpanzee, and to the humane and dignified protection of chimpanzees in U.S. captivity.
I look forward to your final, and favorable, decision.