Boston, MA—October 3, 2006—Following an appeal by many of the world’s chimpanzee experts, as well as inquiries from U.S. Senate offices, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed that two more of the 24 elder chimpanzees now held in U.S. labs, Jake and Jenda, (both age 48), have died. Primate Foundation of Arizona also recently revealed that their elder, Susie, age 52, has also died. The news of their deaths comes shortly before World Animal Day, October 4th, a worldwide day to acknowledge and be thankful for the ways in which animals enrich our lives.
“It is disheartening to realize for Jenda, Jake, and Susie, it is too late,” says Theodora Capaldo, EdD, president of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), which is spearheading Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Labs. “We are grateful that our inquiries, which up until now have gone unanswered, have finally given us important information. We can all take a moment to remember these three individuals, who were subjected to laboratory life for close to five decades. It is unimaginable and particularly poignant on a day that celebrates animal life.”
A September 5th visit to U.S. Senate offices by Project R&R leaders fueled interest by former CHIMP Act co-sponsors and fostered inquiries to NIH on the status of the elders. That same week, certified letters went to each of the three U.S. laboratories that hold the 12 oldest chimpanzees. The letters, signed by Project R&R’s advisory board, called upon the labs to release them into sanctuary to live out their remaining years. Advisory board signatories include some of the top chimpanzee experts in the world, including Jane Goodall, PhD; Roger Fouts, PhD; Gloria Grow; Carole Noon, PhD; and others.
The letter’s request echoed a recent public poll that reveals 71% of the American public believes that a chimpanzee used for more than 10 years in research should be retired. Project R&R’s efforts to secure the release of the remaining 21 oldest chimpanzees in U.S. laboratories continue.
Contact: NEAVS, 617-523-6020