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News: Letter to the Editor

What Does an Aging Chimp Do… Stagno

July 24, 2005 • Posted in Letter to the Editor

New York Times Magazine, 07/24/05 — NEAVS’ response: Barbara Stagno, Program Specialist

Dear Editor:

Your July 24 article on retirement sanctuaries for chimpanzees failed to clarify that taxpayer dollars will pay for these chimpanzeesdeemed “surplus” by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and thus not needed for researchwhether they are housed in cement and steel laboratories or in a federally funded sanctuary.

It is cost effective and far more humane to use our tax dollars to retire them to safe, sunny, open-air sanctuaries where they can heal from their years of being used in research rather than keep them in laboratory cages.

Surely the wisdom of using the same dollars to provide them with a more decent life is apparent. Right now hundreds languish in laboratories with tax payers picking up the tab. There is no caring American who wouldn’t rather see this money go to helping chimpanzees thrive in sanctuarywhich should be permanent and not at the behest of NIH to recall them back to research labs, as is now the unfortunate case.

Barbara Stagno
Program Specialist
New England Anti-Vivisection Society

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