Pamela Anderson Supports Great Ape Protection Act
Actress Pamela Anderson recently joined the PCRM Legislative Fund in urging Congress to support the Great Ape Protection Act. The act would ban invasive chimpanzee experiments and support human-based research methods. In a letter to lawmakers, Anderson zeroed in on chimpanzee experiments on hepatitis C.
“As one of more than 3 million Americans living with hepatitis C,” she wrote, “I am writing to ask that you take steps to end ineffective and cruel research using chimpanzees and direct federal funds to modern, human-based research methods that will be more effective at finding a vaccine and treatment for hepatitis C and other deadly diseases.”
Decades of experiments in chimpanzees have not yielded a human vaccine against hepatitis C. The hepatitis C virus behaves very differently in humans and chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are rarely chronically infected by hepatitis C, and maternal-fetal transmission is much less likely than in humans. Currently, leading hepatitis C researchers are using cell-based research methods instead of animals. Chimpanzee research has also failed HIV, malaria, cancer, and neurological research.
The Great Ape Protection Act, which has nearly 150 congressional co-sponsors, would end invasive experiments on chimpanzees, release the 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, and prohibit the future breeding of chimpanzees for research.
Based on observational pilot data, PCRM primatologist Debra Durham, Ph.D., and PCRM director of research policy Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., have found that chimpanzees once forced to live in laboratory settings can display symptoms similar to those seen in humans suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other anxiety disorders.