Boston, MA―September 5, 2006―While the American public believes that chimpanzees used for research for more than ten years should be retired, 12 elder chimpanzees have remained in U.S. laboratories for 40 to more than 50 years. Today, the advisory board of Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Labs, called upon three labs to release these 12 elders immediately into sanctuary to live out their remaining years.
“The numbers are staggering,” says Theodora Capaldo, EdD, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), which is spearheading Project R&R. “Fifty-four years, 52 years, 48 years … these are just some of the ages of the chimpanzees born in the 1950s who have been and continue to be used by laboratories.”
Made up of some of the world’s most renowned and esteemed chimpanzee experts, Project R&R’s advisory board sent an official request by certified mail to each of the three facilities that hold the elders, as well as to the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Many of the elders were used in multiple research protocols, a common hardship for chimpanzees in laboratories. All of the facilities receive NIH funding from taxpayer dollars.
Project R&R advisory board signatories include: Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute and U.N. Messenger of Peace; Roger Fouts, PhD and Deborah Fouts, MS, Friends of Washoe; Gloria Grow, Founder, Fauna Foundation; Carole Noon, PhD, Founder, Save the Chimps; and others.
A recent independent public opinion survey revealed that 71% of the American public believes that a chimpanzee used for more than 10 years in research should be retired. Approximately 90% of the some 1,200 chimpanzees in U.S. labs have been there for 10 years or more. Seven countries have banned or limited the use of great apes in research.