Great Ape Protection Act Moves to Senate

A bill — first introduced on April 17th, 2008 — to end invasive biomedical research and testing on an estimated 1000 chimpanzees in the U.S. has finally made its way to the Senate floor.

If passed the bill, H.R. 1326 in the House of Representatives and S. 3694 in the Senate, would not only end invasive experimentation on chimps, but would also release hundreds of federally owned chimpanzees into sanctuaries.


Currently more than 200 chimps are being “warehoused” in Alamogordo, N.M., where experimentation on them has ceased since an agreement in 2001 to allow the chimps to enter retirement. But many of these chimps are now facing the horror of being research tools once again. Fifteen chimps from this location have already been sent to a facility in Texas, where they are scheduled to be used in biomedical research. And the National Institute of Health intends to move the rest of them by the beginning of 2011.

This is a “bad idea” according to Gov. Bill Richardson, who stated, “I am going to fight to keep the chimpanzees in Alamogordo.” He would like to see the facility turned into a primate sanctuary.

After spending a decade of time and millions of dollars using chimpanzees for HIV/AIDS research — which has yielded no results — you might think researchers would realize the futility of their actions. After all AIDS does not affect a chimp’s body in the same way that it does our own

The fact that many diseases react differently in other species’ bodies raises the question: Is all animal experimentation fundamentally flawed?

If a disease like AIDS doesn’t cause illness in a species that carries 96% of our genes, what kind of results do experimenters expect to get by testing on non-primate species such as rats and mice, which make up the bulk of animals used in labs?

The passing of the Great Ape Protection Act would save taxpayers over $20 million a year. During a time when the federal deficit continues to grow, throwing money away on abusive and inconclusive experiments on our closest living relatives seems not only cruel, but also terribly wasteful.

The United States is the last country in the world to permit large-scale, invasive research on great apes like chimpanzees, according to Noelle Callahan from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

It would be a huge step in the efforts to protect great apes if this bill should pass. But it leads one to ask: what of the other billions of animals still trapped and confined in federal, university and private laboratories?

If we provide protection to great apes because they are so much like ourselves, we should provide protection to all animals that feel pain and share in the desire to be free from suffering, just as we do.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to pass the Great Ape Protection Act!

Image: Michael Elliott /

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Darle W.
Darlene W.5 years ago

Ban animal testing

Sue L.
michelle l.5 years ago

No more testing on any animals ever!!!!!

Barb F.
Barb F.5 years ago

This law being passed is long overdue, other laws that would be for the same reason should also be passed, the passing of law doesn't mean it will be followed, in these cases it needs to be closely monitored that the law is not lip service.

Shelley Yater
Past Member 5 years ago

I have a dog named Alvey who has eyes so beautiful, I can see his little personality coming through them, I looked at this photo for the this cause and it breaks my heart to even imagine this going on. I cry during commercials that show stray dogs and cats, and my heart has a huge sympathy and empathy for animals. There hasn't been results and I don't understand them carrying out these experiments as if there has been any. It is unscientific.

Karen B.
Karen B.5 years ago

The Peta Slogan for lab experiments:
"Unseen they suffer,
Unheard they cry,
In agony they linger;
In loneliness they die."

Joan Massetti
J. MASSETTI5 years ago


Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan5 years ago

Very good, thanks.

Juan Pablo de la Torre

It has to pass!

ChanTlalok Rain C.
ChanTlalok C.5 years ago

My prayers are with the Chimps.

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog5 years ago

I signed a while back, but I think it would be a great step in stopping animal experimentation! Firstly, obviously experimenting on these chimps isn't leading to any results, and I don't think we have any right to experiment on animals in the first place!