Thank you for the three articles (TNT, 4-24) regarding the controversy over apes in research. They may be our closest relatives genetically but can we justify the suffering we inflict upon them in the name of science? They are used in every gruesome test imaginable.
Testing on animals often cannot be extrapolated to humans. We have yet to find a cure for AIDS/cancer after decades. How can valid scientific data be obtained from suffering, distressed animals? It cannot. Not only do the apes suffer in experiments, they are often denied basic care, veterinary care, social enrichment and analgesics. This is animal cruelty and would not be tolerated anywhere but in a laboratory.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, with its Animal Welfare Act, is supposed to be the watchdog for animals, but it fails. There are many non-animal alternatives that are more accurate, less costly and more humane, but the U.S. remains one of the few countries that still use primates in research.
Apes are intelligent, social and family-oriented beings that know pain, fear, grieving and emotions like humans. They do not deserve this fate, particularly when most experiments are so invalid.
A new bill has been introduced in Congress, the Great Ape Protection & Cost Saving Act (HR 1513 and S. 810), which would end invasive research on primates. It would also end the breeding of apes for research and permanently retire to sanctuaries federally owned primates. Please urge your legislators to support this act.