Target: National Institute of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Goal: To make the temporary ban on lab testing on chimps become permanent.
There is finally some justification for those who have been protesting laboratory testing on chimpanzees now that the Institute of Medicine has shown that health research on apes is rarely warranted. Unexpectedly, this has moved the National Institute of Health to place a temporary ban on lab testing on chimps. This is a step in the right direction but a step not big enough; the ban on chimpanzee lab testing needs to become permanent.
According to the Humane Society, a large number of federally owned chimps in laboratories are not being used for research but are instead stocked away, wasting taxpayer dollars every year. The animal protection organization also stated that it can cost up to $60 per day to keep a laboratory chimp, leaving the U.S. to spend around $20 million on lab chimps’ care annually. Fortunately, alternatives are emerging, such as one that uses computer models and isolated cells. The time has come to end biomedical experimentation on chimpanzees, especially since the need for it no longer exists.
In the past, scientists urged the use of chimps in labs since their genetic makeup is similar to humans. However, the Jane Goodall Institute has concluded that chimps have proven to be poor models for human cell research because the differences in their DNA results in large differences in the behavior of diseases. This is not to mention the sickening tests these chimps must face while undergoing disease research which includes tubes being forced down chimps’ throats for experimental drugs to be pumped into their stomachs; infant monkeys being ripped away from their mothers in order to record the psychological trauma done to these social animals when left alone at a young age; holes drilled into their skulls for electrodes to be placed on their brains; and many other disgusting attempts at understanding humans. In the end, research has shown that 90% of chimps in labs display depression, anxiety, and self-mutilation after suffering physical and psychological abuse and social isolation.
But the future is looking bright in at least one area for chimps. The U.S. military has confirmed that they will be ending their cruel monthly training experiments on apes that included exposure to anthrax, botulism, bubonic plague, and nerve agents. Instead of abusing the apes, the military will now use human patient simulators. With available alternatives, it is vital that laboratory testing on chimpanzees comes to a stop for good. A temporary ban on chimpanzee lab experiments is not good enough.
Dear Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health,
The National Institute of Health has placed a temporary ban on the experimentation of chimpanzees, but a temporary ban is not enough. The United States must joins other scientifically progressed nations in the banning of lab testing on primates. You have the ability to end their suffering and to stop wasting the taxpayers’ dollars.
There are now alternatives to lab testing, such as one that uses computer models and isolated cells. The time has come to end invasive research on chimpanzees, especially since the need for it no longer exists. Please take a clue from the U.S. military who has already begun using alternative methods. This is a better step toward a benevolent science. Implement the use of alternatives in your facilities and make the moratorium on laboratory experimentation on chimpanzees permanent.
[Your Name Here]