March 30, 2010 • Posted in Project R&R News
NEAVS/Project R&R, represented by Dr. Capaldo, attended a meeting of leaders from the sanctuary community, animal protection organizations, and the zoo community to discuss strategic plans for providing sanctuary to great apes rescued from research once the Great Ape Protection Act passes into law. Dr. Capaldo’s presentation, entitled “An Economic Analysis of Chimpanzee Housing and Maintenance in U.S. Laboratories and Sanctuaries,” demonstrated the economic benefits of transferring chimpanzees from federally supported laboratories into sanctuary. She gave information drawn from our latest economic study that included examples of government waste in grants to warehouse chimpanzees in labs. The analysis adds credibility to arguments that economic motivation is keeping chimpanzees in labs rather than releasing them to sanctuary. The importance of reallocating federal dollars to sanctuary care was emphasized for humane benefit to the chimpanzees and economic benefit to the taxpayer-funded federal budget. The meeting was hosted by the Arcus Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States.
At a March meeting of the Animal Law Practice Group of the Massachusetts Bar Association, NEAVS’ President Theodora Capaldo, EdD joined a panel of experts including Steve Neimi, DVM, Director of the Center for Comparative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Chair of the Board of The Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR), and Valerie Parkinson, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Manager at Tufts University, to discuss Animals in Laboratories: What is the Legal Framework and is it Sufficient? The presentations provided an important opportunity to take a critical look at not only existing laws and regulations pertaining to animals in labs, but to also explore the implications of the Great Ape Protection Act. Dr. Capaldo’s presentation focused on how the Animal Welfare Act provides no real protection, safety, or relief to the millions of animals in labs and offers only a false sense of security to the caring public, as well as on the “rubber stamp” function of the required IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), citing published studies on their ineffectiveness. Panel organizers later sent NEAVS a thank you, noting: “The meeting’s success was due in large part to your thoughtful contributions to the panel presentation and group discussion.” We want to remind our members that we are available to present should opportunities come up in your area.