Actor Woody Harrelson Wants Chimps Released

Actor Woody Harrelson is working with PETA to help get 14 research chimps returned from a research lab to the rehabilitation center where they had been living. The chimps were in retirement from being tested upon in medical research studies, but for some reason were sent to another research facility. In a letter to the National Institutes of Health, Mr. Harrelson wrote: “These aging chimpanzees … have endured decades of violence and torment, having been used in everything from space experiments to high-velocity seat belt tests. Only in the last few years have they enjoyed bedding, fruit, toys, the touch and companionship of other chimpanzees, and freedom from the knife. Will you please return the 14 chimpanzees … to these simple pleasures and allow them to continue the rehabilitation that they have more than earned?” (Source:

If you would like to add your name to Harrelson’s in urging the NIH to return the 14 chimpanzees, PETA has created an online form letter for the cause.

The chimps were at the Alamogordo chimp release and restitution facility, where they are taken care of with the help of donations from the public, but then 14 were transferred to Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in 2010. This facility has some relationship with BioMed Texas, which has 3,000 nonhuman primates for testing. About 2,000 of these primates are baboons. The Southwest National Primate Research Center has 160 chimps. Currently they are being used in research for studies of Hepatitis C.

CNN journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell said, “Tell your congress members and senators we don’t want our tax dollars used to torture these highly sensitive, highly intelligent cousins of mankind. Now, the Great Ape Protection Act is gathering support. It would ban all invasive research on chimps. And a growing number of scientists say chimp research is actually holding back medical progress because it’s getting all the research money that should be focused on more sophisticated, cutting edge research methods.” (Source:

The Alamorgordo chimp release and restitution project is managed by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. They were founded to advocate for more humane medical research methods not involving humans (such as criminals or the mentally ill) or nonhuman primates.

Image Credit: Delphine Bruyere

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Good on him!

Vera Y.
Vera Yuno4 years ago

Go Woody Go!!!!

Rhonda Conway
Rhonda Conway4 years ago

Hugs to Woody & Jane!

Mervi R.
Mervi R.4 years ago

Letter signed & thanks Woody!

Alex Kerr
Alexander Kerr4 years ago

Thank you Woody Harrolson for your heart, your influence and eloquence. Science needs to join the 'humane' race.
These sentient intelligent lovely family oriented beings 'involuntarily' gave their lives to experimentation. By some great fortune they were retired and now deserve to stay retired, in a sanctuary where they can live in peace, free of pain for the rest of their days. Save them from toxic trauma, the knife and any other inhumane violation that could occurr to them. Sentient like us we owe them respect. Science needs to show now that it respects right and wrong by releasing these little guys in compassion's sake. A final word. Ironically 'progressive' science has proved that the most evolved people on the planet are those who have the quality of mercy and empathy. They are those that cannot desensitise themselves from the plight of a living being regardless of what gains immoral practices may bring. Make science noble again by leaving animals alone. Alexander Kerr, Dunedin, New Zealand

Jeramie D.
Jeramie D.4 years ago

I signed and sent the letter and want to thank Woody for getting involved. I think we should ban all animal testing. We are such a cruel species.

JennyLynn W.
JennyLynn W.4 years ago

These animals know fear and feel pain. It's time to use computer simulations and STOP using animals for any research except for non-injuring, non-invasive research (for example, researchers used treats and push buttons to determine that cats can see colors and that's OK) permanently! Signed and sent the letter.

Krista Porter
Krista Porter4 years ago

Good job woody harrelson!

Gordana Roljic
Gordana Roljic4 years ago

great action

desanka s.

Love Woody Harrelson even more! Message sent. Thank you Jake.