Target: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Goal: Improve the living conditions of all research apes and monkeys based on their basic needs as advanced animals.
New regulations in the treatment of research chimpanzees have begun, but 112,000 research monkeys are still being subjected to conditions deemed abusive and outdated thanks to new research into their behavior. The Animal Legal Defense Fund pressed to help 1,700 chimpanzees reach freedom and improved conditions, and the National Institutes of Health are now retiring or improving the lives of 360 within their care, but many animals are being left out of the new plans.
Primates are the closest relatives to humans in the animal kingdom and need much of the same things we do. Wild apes and monkeys develop and learn from their parents and the rest of their species and live with almost constant interaction with others and exercise as they obtain their own food and shelter. In captivity, they are often left in small cages, some allegedly with nothing but a plastic toy to keep them company during infancy.
Giving all primates the proper care while they aid in furthering important research is a necessity. They should be given the best care possible for their service and not have to endure conditions unnatural to their species. Tell the Department of Agriculture to tighten the rules around treatment for both research chimpanzees and other primates.
Dear Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack,
Plans are being made to help improve the conditions and push the retirement of research chimpanzees, but there are still over a hundred thousand research primates who are living in confinement that is against the nature of this curious and social species.
Research animals are vital to finding cures that can saves lives, but showing them compassion and a high quality of life for their service is something that should be a requirement. By improving conditions in which researchers keep their animals and punishing those who do not stay in line with animals rights, the importance of the research animal can be better respected.
Apes should get to spend their time in an environment where they can interact with other members of their species, grow up with their parents and move around, not be confined to isolating cages. Increase standards for chimpanzee treatment in research labs working under the Department of Agriculture and show them that their service is valued.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Skeeze