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The Physicians Committee





Chimpanzee Experiments Exposed on Prime-Time TV
February 2, 2012

The NBC news magazine show Rock Center recently covered the issue of chimpanzees used in experiments. Ken and Rosie are two aging and seriously ill chimpanzees who had been retired from experiments and living in Alamogordo, New Mexico, until the National Institutes of Health (NIH) transferred them to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. That same Texas facility was recently fined $25,714 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act that included primate deaths and staff injuries.

Before arriving at the Texas lab, both had already been through the rigors of a laboratory existence. Rosie had been chemically immobilized 99 times by laboratory workers. Ken’s heart problems put him at risk of sudden cardiac death, according to veterinary records obtained by PCRM through the Freedom of Information Act. His health is so precarious that veterinarians have placed a Do Not Resuscitate order in his medical file.

After their transfer, the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report finding that chimpanzees are, for the most part, not needed for medical research, prompting NIH to suspend all new grants for chimpanzee experiments on chimpanzees. But that was too late for Ken and Rosie, who remain in the Texas laboratory. And during the Rock Center segment, Texas Biomed’s director suggested that the chimpanzees should be kept in captivity for possible future experiments.

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act will end the dispute over misleading claims of necessity by researchers who have made their careers out of experimenting on chimpanzees. The bill will permanently end the use of chimpanzees in invasive experiments, permanently end federal breeding programs, and release federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries.

To help end chimpanzee experiments and allow Ken, Rosie, and hundreds of other chimpanzees to retire to sanctuaries, please e-mail your members of Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.


     

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