Lea Michele Champions Chimpanzees
Glee star Lea Michele is urging the federal government to save 14 chimpanzees recently moved to a Texas laboratory for use in painful experiments. Join her in taking action to protect chimpanzees >
May 25, 2011
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
Dear Dr. Collins,
As an animal protection advocate, I implore you to help 14 chimpanzees who were recently moved to a notorious Texas laboratory, where they are being used in harmful experiments.
These chimpanzees had already been subjected to invasive research for decades before finally getting a break in 2001. They were safe in a facility in New Mexico—until the federal government suddenly decided to put these incredibly intelligent animals back into lab cages.
We’ve learned so much about chimpanzees in recent years. We know that chimpanzee mothers mourn terribly if their infant dies, much like a human mom does. Chimpanzee infants in the wild stay with their moms for years. But in labs, infants are usually taken away from their mothers just a few hours after birth.
Cammy, one of the 14 chimpanzees moved to this Texas lab, was taken from her mom the day she was born. She was first traumatically sedated with powerful chemicals when she was 6 months old, according to medical records. Since then, she’s been “chemically immobilized” more than 100 times. Cammy and her 13 companions have been infected with hepatitis C and subjected to liver biopsies and many other traumatic procedures.
I’ll never understand why the government decided to put Cammy and these 13 other retired chimpanzees back into a lab. Chimpanzee experimentation raises some obvious ethical issues, and there are also clear scientific problems. That’s why most countries around the world no longer permit harmful research on chimpanzees.
I am joining the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in asking you to return these 14 chimpanzees to the Alamogordo Primate Facility, where they will not be used in invasive experiments. Please do the right thing for these amazing animals.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.