News: Project R&R News

Bill Continues to Gain Bipartisan Support

March 12, 2009 • Posted in Project R&R News

The Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) is now in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. As of March 11th, the bill has the support of 28 cosponsors including all the original sponsors. It is vital we continue to work hard to add even more cosponsors to ensure the bill’s success.

Three things YOU can do right now to help!

  1. If you have not already done so in 2009, contact your legislator and ask them to sign onto the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) as a cosponsor, or, if they already have in 2009, please thank them. Then ask at least three of your friends or family to contact their legislators too! Email us - - for legislator postcards to help make contacting them fast and easy.

  2. Please contact the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and let them know that you no longer want your tax dollars going towards research on great apes. Tell them you want funding allocated to:

    • Retire chimpanzees currently in U.S. labs to sanctuary.
    • Alternatives which are not only more humane but are safer and better science.
  3. Recently there has been important media coverage (ABC’s Nightline) on primates in research. As a result, thousands of comments are being posted on social networking sites such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook, etc. Please add your voice to this debate with positive, informative and reasonable comments to help educate the public.

Here are some talking points to counter claims:

Claim: The undercover footage of New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) showed “routine” procedures.

Argument: Such a claim shows profound lack of sensitivity towards the pain and discomfort of animals.  One example in the recent Nightline undercover footage was of a young monkey being intubated. Anyone who has gone through this procedure knows how terrifying and uncomfortable it is; how it triggers the “gag” reflex; requires throat numbing analgesics in humans to make it tolerable; and, how it is never done without the support of nurses and physicians monitoring the comfort of the human patient throughout. It is also a procedure that carries the dangers of infection and perforations. To dismiss this procedure as a common and acceptable practice is insensitive and cruel. If all that we see in the NIRC footage is just “routine”, then we ask - how horrible is what is not routine?

Claim: If animal research were to end, there would be serious health implications for humans.

Argument: Claims as to the necessity of animal research are made in sweeping, unsubstantiated generalizations. Some erroneously proclaim that all major medical advancements have been made because of animals. This is far from the truth.   Scientific data in papers published by Project R&R and others have shown chimpanzee research to be ineffective, unnecessary and even dangerous. The few studies that are published have limited — if any — impact on human biomedical advances.  In particular, their use in AIDS research (the reason so many were bred) was singularly unproductive, including in the search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine. Chimpanzees were long ago abandoned as a model for cancer and other human killer diseases because chimpanzee research does not work. As a model to study humans, they have failed repeatedly and been a waste of precious time and taxpayer dollars. Yet, in spite of the failed science, NIH continues to pour millions of dollars into maintaining chimpanzees in laboratories, versus releasing and supporting them in sanctuary for far fewer tax dollars in far superior facilities. The continued support of chimpanzee research by the U.S. government works against not only animals, but also our human health. 

Claim: Researchers who use an authoritative and reasonable voice to justify their use of an animal model must be right.

Argument: Resting on authoritative rhetoric does not make what they are saying either reasonable or right. Their attempt to calm concerns about suffering and abuse with statements about how “routine,” common, or lifesaving the research is, is unacceptable. The persona they create is a glaring example of what labs — that receive millions in public and private funding — do to justify their work and perpetuate the myth that animal research is necessary and humane. An ever growing number of scientists agree that chimpanzee research is an exorbitant waste of precious research dollars that is actually deterring medical advances — advances that would be arrived at through more productive, humane and cost-effective research methods.

Thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion.

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