September 18, 2008 • Posted in Project R&R News
NEAVS/Project R&R Leaders Make their Mark at
International Primate Conference in Scotland
In August, NEAVS president Theodora Capaldo, EdD presented on a panel at the International Primatological Society 22nd Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Congress is an international event that hosts hundreds of world experts on primates and research. Dr. Capaldo’s presentation, entitled: Humane Considerations Regarding the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical Research and Testing, was part of a symposium that presented on the use of great apes for invasive research and included science, policy, welfare, and current events.
Other panellists included Gloria Grow, Founder and Director of the Fauna Foundation and Project R&R’s Honorary Co-chair (An Overview of Worldwide Sanctuaries with Great Apes from Research Laboratories); Jarrod Bailey, PhD, Project R&R Science Director (Examining the Efficacy of Chimpanzee Research and Its Contribution to Combating Human Disease); as well as Kathleen Conlee, Director of Program Management, HSUS; John L. VandeBerg, PhD, Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center; Michael Balls, PhD, emeritus professor at Nottingham University; and in absentia, Brian Hare, PhD, Assistant Professor Duke University, Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy. Project R&R Advisory Board member Mike Seres presented on a separate panel on Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Introductions in Captive Settings: Challenges, Facts, and as Art.
The panel was a unique and precedent setting event — a rare opportunity for chimpanzee researchers and those of us seeking to end their use in invasive research to meet, dialogue and present our different points of view. The audience of more than 100 people included among others of import, Dr. Rick Lee of the Alamogordo Primate Facility, field researchers from throughout Europe, behavioral researchers, Doug Cress of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, and others. In addition to the significant impact of the panel, throughout the conference, networking led to many more scientists of reputation within the field of primatology signing on to the scientific petition to ‘End Chimp Research’.
Dr. Capaldo, noted, “It was important to reach field researchers, behavioral researchers and biomedical researchers. The fate of not only US, but the world population of great apes, rests in the hands of this influential scientific community. Project R&R impressed participants as well as the ‘opposition’ with our substantive arguments and clearly articulated strategy for our campaign. It would be hard to leave that presentation and not recognize that Project R&R is a formidable force on behalf of chimpanzees.