Deschanel sent the NIH a letter after learning that they plan to send 14 aging chimpanzees from the Alamogordo Primate Facility (a rehab and retirement facility for chimps used in testing) to the Southwest National Primate Research Center. The research center, based in Texas, has a “long history of animal abuse” according to Deschanel’s letter.
“Each individual chimpanzee has his or her own story,” wrote Deschanel. “As you know, their stories are all filled with pain and suffering. But you have an opportunity to give these 14 chimpanzees’ stories a happy ending.”
The chimps won a recent victory when the NIH suspended plans to move a huge group of 186 chimps from the rehab facility to the research center. However, the fate of the 14 chimps is still in question.
Deschanel’s strong support is no surprise: she has been heavily involved in animal rights cases in the past, is an outspoken vegan (along with her sister, “500 Days of Summer” star Zooey Deschanel), and even won the “Humane Advocate Award” from the Humane Society.
It’s great to see all of these stars standing up for chimps: Pamela Anderson and Woody Harrelson have recently written letters on the behalf of chimpanzees subjected to testing. With any luck, those 14 chimps will get to live out their lives in their home in New Mexico.
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