Stop the Unnecessary Suffering of Research Chimpanzees

Target: Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

Goal: Alleviate chimpanzee suffering by removing them from cruel conditions and allowing them to live out their lives in a sanctuary

Awareness is being raised about a group of 15 chimpanzees, dubbed the Rockville 15, who are being unnecessarily housed in unsatisfactory conditions at BIOQUAL Inc. laboratories in Rockville, Maryland. According to one activist, whose account can be read at Free the Rockville 15, the chimpanzees are housed one or two at a time in very small cages. Loud cries can be heard often from the animals, and they do not see the natural world outside of their glass cages. BIOQUAL has a long history of mistreatment of chimpanzees, going back 25 years to when Jane Goodall called for its closure. Things are changing at BIOQUAL, as evidenced by their phasing out of chimpanzee experiments. However, change is not happening fast enough for the Rockville 15. These chimpanzees are not being used for any research. There is no need for them to be housed at BIOQUAL. Instead, they need to be relocated to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for retired chimpanzees, to live out the rest of their lives in more suitable conditions.

Animal trials are a hotly debated topic within research circles, and amongst the general public. Whatever your opinion may be, the Institute of Medicine recently concluded that research using chimpanzees is unnecessary and asked the National Institutes of Health to discontinue its funding. This is great news for our closest genetic relatives; however, the Rockville 15 chimpanzees are not benefiting, nor are the rest of the government chimpanzees who make up a surplus not needed for research. Eleven of the Rockville 15 have been moved to New Iberia Research Center where they were likely bred. This facility is no better, having been the target of numerous investigations revealing abysmal treatment of chimpanzees.

The abhorrent treatment of chimpanzees in medical research facilities must end, starting with moving all of the Rockville 15 to Chimp Haven sanctuary. Please sign this petition and ask Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health to use his power and make the move happen.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Collins,

There are 15 chimpanzees, known as the Rockville 15, who are being housed in abysmal conditions at BIOQUAL Inc. laboratories in Rockville Maryland. These institutionalized chimpanzees are drugged, forced to live in cramped cages, and never allowed to see the natural world. What makes this even more appalling is that they are not being used for any research. BIOQUAL is phasing out their chimpanzee research in line with the landmark Institute of Medicine report concluding that chimpanzee research is unnecessary. However, these chimpanzees are not benefiting from that decision. They need your help to be moved to more suitable conditions.

Eleven of the Rockville 15 have been moved, with the rest expected to follow. However, their destination is no better than BIOQUAL. They have been taken to the New Iberia Research Center, which has been the target of investigations revealing abysmal treatment of chimpanzees. Our closest genetic relatives deserve to live out their lives in the best conditions possible, not inside dismal cages. The chimpanzees should be allowed to live at Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for retired chimpanzees.

Please use your power as director of the NIH and intervene to have all of the Rockville 15 moved to Chimp Haven Sanctuary immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

 

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