Congressional Hearing Considers Ending Chimpanzee Experiments
Earlier today, Congress held a hearing on the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. If passed, this legislation will end the use of chimpanzees in invasive experiments and release federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries.
Martin Wasserman, M.D., J.D., who has served as state health secretary for Maryland and Oregon and as the executive director of the Maryland State Medical Society, testified before the subcommittee. Here is an excerpt:
“The timing of today’s hearing is perfect. Just four months ago, the Institute of Medicine released its report Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity, compiled at the request of Senators Harkin, Udall, and Bingaman. NIH has taken the IOM report seriously, and they are to be applauded for their efforts. But theirs is the response of current NIH leadership, and—as we all know—administrations change, leaders change, and policies change. Passage of this bill is essential to ensure that the unnecessary use of chimpanzees in invasive experimentation will not occur in the future.”
The room was packed with Members of Congress and staffers who wanted to learn more about the Institute of Medicine’s recent report finding that there is no area of human health for which chimpanzee experiments are clearly necessary. They were also interested in the bill’s potential to save a third of a billion taxpayer dollars over the next decade.
The next few weeks will be decisive for this bill. To find out how you can help, visit PCRM.org/GAPCSA.