Success: Captive Chimps Declared Endangered


Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Praise decision to declare captive chimps as endangered and grant them protection under federal law.

Captive chimps have been declared endangered and are now protected under federal law. This decision will ensure humane treatment of captive chimps and restrict all commercial activities. Before these animals were granted such rights, they were held in pens, bought and sold for research, and often treated as lab animals in order to find cures for human diseases.

Wild chimpanzees have been declared endangered and protected by the federal government for nearly 25 years. The decision to protect only wild chimpanzees and exclude captive ones was the only “split listing” of endangered species in history. However, the disappearance of chimps as a species has forced the government to reconsider its classification. More than one million chimps have disappeared from the wild since the year 2000 and it is estimated that only 300,000 remain.

Part of the reason captive chimpanzees were not offered protection immediately is due to medical research. The United States remains the only developed nation to use chimps for medical research after European nations outlawed it years ago. Many organizations fought for the continued use of chimpanzees in research until it finally became apparent that it was neither humane nor beneficial.

The new ruling will require federal permits to use chimps for biomedical research, as well as for any importing or exporting across state and international borders. It will also help to eliminate the use of chimpanzees in commercial activities such as in circuses and movies.

After outcry from the public to grant captive chimpanzees protection, including our voices here at ForceChange, the rulings have finally passed. Jane Goodall proposed these rulings two years ago and says that their passage will help to protect “our closest living relatives.” Sign this petition to commend the work done to finally protect captive chimpanzees and hopefully preserve their species altogether.


Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

Wild chimpanzees have been protected under federal law for nearly 25 years. However, this left captive chimps to become victims of biomedical testing where they were kept in cages and bought and sold without strict regulation. The United States is the only developed nation to continue using chimps for research, and does so at the expense of the disappearing species. We have lost nearly one million chimps since the turn of the century. Now, there is an estimated 300,000.

The decision to protect captive chimpanzees under federal law and declaring them endangered will not only grant these chimpanzees a safer life, but also help to restore the diminishing chimp population. I commend your efforts to preserve their species and ask you to continue to help ensure their preservation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Hans Hillewaert

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223 Signatures

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