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Watch Liberated Research Chimps See the Sky for the First Time

Watch Liberated Research Chimps See the Sky for the First Time

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on March 12, 2013. Enjoy!

Chimp Haven, the sanctuary for retired biomedical research chimps, has released a moving video that shows government research chimps as they go out into the simulated wild for the very first time.

Watch the film below:

As noted above, more than 100 government-owned chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center, a laboratory in Louisiana, will be retired to the federal chimpanzee sanctuary Chimp Haven, providing sufficient funds are in place to construct the necessary facilities. It is estimated that this will cost upwards of $2.3 million, funds the government will not be able to provide in their entirety due to its spending cap having been reached.

Many of the chimps, some of them now over 50 years of age, will have endured a life-time being subjected to oftentimes invasive medical tests.

The process toward liberating chimpanzees from biomedical research facilities has been a long one.

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine issued a report in which it concluded the majority of research conducted on chimpanzees is unnecessary. After a period of consultation, it was recommended that all but 50 chimpanzees be fully retired.

As previously cited here at Care2, it emerged last year that a number of chimps from the New Iberia Research Center were in fact due to be sent to other medical facilities where, while they would no longer be subject to invasive medical tests, they may have still been used in research.

In December, however, and after a public outcry, the NIH announced it would move all the chimps to a sanctuary.

It is estimated that there are nearly 2,000 chimpanzees in the United States today. Of those, figures suggest 962 are still housed in research laboratories.

Of the remaining number, approximately 446 live in accredited sanctuaries; 259 are registered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; and 287 are either in non-accredited sanctuaries or zoos, or are being sold or housed as pets by members of the public — often in wildly restrictive and unsuitable environments.

Over the next 12 to 15 months, more lab chimps from across the country will be liberated from their lives as medical research animals.

As noted above, even though the government has now moved to retire the vast majority of the remaining chimps, a failure to provide funds for such rehousing efforts means that many so-called retirement sanctuaries, like Chimp Haven, have had to resort to asking for public funding. Experts in the field have called on the government to allocate more funds in order to ensure that the order to retire is more than just empty words.

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011, which requires the phasing-out of federally supported invasive research on Great Apes and for retiring government-owned animals to be sent to sanctuaries, continues to languish in Congress. Privately-funded invasive research on chimps is still ongoing, and with little remedy yet in sight. Certainly, there is still a great deal of work to be done on this issue, but the above video shows in clear terms why the work must continue.

A website has been set-up to track what have been dubbed “The Last 1,000.” You can access that website here.


Related Reading:

The Last 1,000: Site Tracks Retirement of Research Chimps

Senate Committee Passes Bill To End Chimp Research

Feds ‘Retire’ 110 Chimps…By Sending Them For More Research

Read more: , , , , ,

Image credit: YouTube Video Image.

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7:23AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

WHY DON'T WE SEE IT ... abuse in all forms, now widely accepted. We so deserve what's coming.

7:17AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

God bless their little hearts.

7:01AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

What humans do to animals is unforgivable.

6:27AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

As I witness this reprieve for these wonderful animals legally abused by humans, of course, I feel a mixture of emotions--some grateful happiness but, also, immense sadness and anger. I also, want to know why other lab animals can't be rescued--the remaining chimps, monkeys, dogs, cats, even mice and rats. They all suffer.

Then I think of circuses, marine parks, roadside zoos, hunting "contests", puppy mills, fur and factory farms, the horrific USDA's Meat Animal Research Center--All of the legal "hells" and "torture chambers" that our country, permits and/or condones for our innocent and vulnerable animals.

I am left with disgust, shame and immense sadness that our race justifies, rationalizes and supports such despicable "crimes"--incredulous and unimaginable evil by my fellow man.

5:49AM PST on Mar 4, 2015


5:12AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

I hang my head down in shame.... human beings .... worst that wild animals to guide or control. Thanks for sharing this article.

4:28AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

I am ashamed to be human when I see the results of what we allow animals to suffer so that companies can sell their products; everything from drugs to household cleaners being tested on these innocent and defenceless creatures; painful medical procedures and psychological experiments. We ALLOW this torture to happen and it is wrong. If we can excuse such cruelty, then we are not worthy of any (dubious) benefit that may be derived from it. Kathy Spraetz echoes the often heard plea that we should 'give back' to these animals who have given so much to humanity, but they have NOT given anything! It was all taken from them without their permission. It is the most cowardly behaviour of our species against another, to torture them simply because it can be done, because they are unable to speak or defend themselves. It's time we stopped excusing this torture by using comforting phrases like "they have given so much" when they have had no choice and had so much taken from them!

3:53AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

I will be speechless when all animals will be liberated from all laboratories....poor poor chimps what they had to go through until this moment ..this is the tip of an iceberg of animals who suffer terrible ordeals in the hands of humans that use the term "science" to justify their acts .

3:33AM PST on Mar 4, 2015

poor babies. Absolutely horrendous to torture other living creatures. Glad they are free now. Hope they never know anything but happiness again.

3:28AM PST on Mar 4, 2015


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