True Blood's Kristin Bauer Opposes Experiments on New Mexico Chimpanzees
Kristin Bauer, who plays a vampire on the TV series True Blood, is sinking her teeth into a real-life drama. She’s urging the National Institutes of Health to halt its plan to move chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico to a laboratory in Texas where they will be used in cruel, invasive experiments.
Since 2001, the chimpanzees at the federally funded Alamogordo Primate Facility have not been used in invasive research. Some were previously used in testing and research at a privately run facility that was responsible for 35 chimpanzee deaths. Now, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to move the chimpanzees to the Southwest National Primate Research Facility in San Antonio, Texas, which also has a troubling record of animal cruelty.
“I’ve always been fascinated by chimpanzees. We now know that these amazing animals use tools, grieve for their dead, and are capable of complex communication with humans,” wrote Bauer in her letter to NIH director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “When chimpanzees are used in invasive experiments, they are kept in small metal cages, deprived of normal social interaction, and often subjected to harmful procedures.”
Bauer joins New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and many others in New Mexico and across the country who are speaking out on behalf of these animals.
Last month, another PCRM campaign to end research on chimpanzees took a critical step forward. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., introduced the Great Ape Protection Act (GAPA), S. 3694, a parallel bill to the House’s H.R. 1326. These bills would end the use of chimpanzees in invasive research and release more than 500 federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries, saving taxpayers $20-25 million annually.