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Texas Biomed Fined for Animal Care Violations
January 23, 2012

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute was recently fined $25,714 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which cited multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including one in which a rhesus macaque was killed after escaping his enclosure at night when temperatures were below freezing. Previously, the facility was cited after employees realized 10 minutes into a necropsy of a male baboon that the animal was still alive.

The fine will be paid by Texas Biomed. But nearly 200 chimpanzees may eventually pay a greater cost if they are sent to this facility for invasive experiments.

At PCRM, we’ve worked for several years to keep the federal government from sending a group of chimpanzees currently living safely in New Mexico to Texas Biomed. Working with lawmakers, celebrities, and other organizations, we’ve managed to keep these chimpanzees safe for now—but their fate is not yet secure.

Following a heated battle over the last few years, the National Institutes of Health agreed to ask an Institute of Medicine panel to judge whether chimpanzee experiments are necessary. The panel’s report found that, by and large, they are not. In response, NIH announced that it would not fund new grants for chimpanzee experimentation. This means that most of a nearly $20 million grant awarded to Texas Biomed in September to transfer and experiment on the chimpanzees residing in Alamogordo has been temporarily suspended.

But “temporarily” is the key word. NIH is now constructing a panel of its own to decide when and where chimpanzees could be experimented on. So, at any time, the NIH could allow the New Mexico chimpanzees to be moved to Texas, where they would be subjected to painful and invasive procedures.

But there’s one way to keep the suspension permanent. Passage of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would permanently keep these chimpanzees out of Texas Biomed by ending chimpanzee experiments and releasing federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries.

Actors James Franco and Kevin Nealon recently joined our fight, and I’m hoping that everyone else will pitch in, too. Watch this video to find out what we’re doing to help pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. Then take action at PCRM.org/GAPA.

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Phone: 202-686-2210     Email: pcrm@pcrm.org