The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Humane Society, Chimpanzee Retirement

The Humane Society of the United States is committed to the retirement of laboratory chimpanzees. Currently, there are more than 1,000 of these great apes in labs across the United States, some of whom are used in invasive research, such as infectious disease testing (for hepatitis, in particular), HIV research, spinal and brain injury research, and toxicity testing. Many of the chimpanzees, however, are simply being warehoused in laboratories.

Given the surplus of chimpanzees in laboratories, the National Institutes of Health, which owns the title to many of these research chimps, projects the divestiture of a large proportion of the chimpanzees from laboratories in the near future.

In 2000, The HSUS worked with members of the animal protection, sanctuary, and animal research communities to secure passage of the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act. The CHIMP Act establishes a national sanctuary system for those chimpanzees who have provided long service in laboratories, enduring sometimes painful and distressing experimental procedures. The sanctuary system will provide the chimpanzees lifetime care in social groups and in a naturalistic environment, a vast improvement over the housing conditions in which the chimpanzees are currently living.

The CHIMP Act was championed by Senators Bob Smith (R-NH) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jim Greenwood (R-PA). Former House Commerce Committee Chairman Thomas Bliley (R-VA) required certain controversial amendments before he would allow the bill to advance to the House floor. The Bliley amendments provided for the possibility of limited access to a sanctuary chimpanzee if proposed research met several criteria. However, in August 2007 a bill was introduced by Representative Jim McCrery and Senator Richard Burr to remove the Bliley amendments and ensure permanent retirement for chimpanzees in the federal sanctuary system. This bill was signed into law by President Bush on Dec. 26, 2007.

On Sept. 30, 2002, the National Institutes of Health announced the award of a contract to Chimp Haven (located in Shreveport, Louisiana) for the establishment and operation of the sanctuary system. The grand opening of Chimp Haven was on Oct. 28, 2005. By the end of 2007, there were more than 120 chimpanzees at Chimp Haven. Eventually, the 200-acre Shreveport location will house up to 300 chimpanzees. Chimp Haven hopes to have a system of chimpanzee sanctuaries in order to house even more retired laboratory chimpanzees, as well as chimpanzees retired from the entertainment industry and former pet chimpanzees. The government contract with Chimp Haven indicates the ability of the system to ultimately hold up to 900 chimpanzees.

In March of 2005, The HSUS submitted joint comments to the National Institutes of Health on the proposed standards of care for chimpanzees in the federally funded sanctuary system in response to a Federal Register Notice. The comments included a variety of suggestions on topics such as veterinary care, food, housing, enrichment, and consideration for chimpanzees with unique or special circumstances (such as aged chimpanzees). Submitted comments will be considered for the development and adoption of standards of care for chimpanzees held in the sanctuary system.

See the Chimpanzee Sanctuary page for a timeline of events pertaining to the CHIMP Act.

Updated Jan. 27, 2008.


No comments:

Post a Comment