(Boston, MA) April 5, 2006—One of the nation’s oldest animal protection organizations is headed to Atlanta, Georgia, to kick off Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Labs, a national campaign to end the use of chimpanzees in research. Austria recently became the latest of several countries to ban the use of great apes in research. The U.S., the last remaining large-scale user of chimpanzees in research in the world, has an estimated 1,300 chimpanzees still held in labs.
Project R&R aims to mobilize public support to secure the release of chimpanzees now in labs into permanent sanctuaries. Most chimpanzees in U.S. labs have been there for decades, and many have been used in multiple experiments. Some of the oldest were captured as infants in Africa. Chimpanzees in captivity can live 50–55 years.
A recent public survey showed that most Americans are concerned about the harm done to chimpanzees in labs. Over 70% believe those used in research for more than 10 years should be retired.
“It is the American public that pushes our scientific community to make major ethical advances,” says Theodora Capaldo, EdD, director of Project R&R. “Our fellow great apes are highly intelligent, socially complex, and emotionally rich. The U.S. must join the moral world community in ending their use in research.”
Project R&R’s launch event, In Their Own Words, will be held April 20, 2006 at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History at 7:00pm. Atlanta is home to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center—one of eight federally funded primate facilities and the namesake of Robert Yerkes, known as the father of chimpanzee research.
The multimedia event includes presentations by: Gloria Grow, founder and director of the Fauna Foundation sanctuary; Jarrod Bailey, PhD, Science Advisor to Project R&R; Nancy Megna and Jen Feuerstein, former Yerkes’ laboratory caregivers; and, Theodora Capaldo, EdD, NEAVS president and director of Project R&R.
In Their Own Words is free and open to the public. Reserve now as seating is limited. Call toll-free at 1-877-2CHIMPS (224-4677). Project R&R is a campaign of NEAVS.