[APNM eAlert posted: 7/8/10]
APNM has just learned that the federal government plans to move over 200 chimpanzees living at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) to a lab in Texas for use in invasive medical experiments. According to Dr. Barbara Alving of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), “The animals must be moved to another facility to participate in research.”
|Nicole, born February 25, 1983, shown here at just four or five years old. “Nicole was my best chimp buddy! She was 4 or 5 years old when we met. We had a wonderful rapport that I will NEVER forget. She was very easy to recognize because she had the most distinct, light brown eyes. She was beautiful, sensitive and gentle. Nicole tended to be very submissive. We would sit with each other every day. She had the most incredible sense of musical timing. I would sing to her and with the back of her hand she would take her nails and strum them across the chain link cage twice *Plink Plink* and then clap her hands twice *Clap Clap*. She would do this series of plinks and claps (always twice) in perfect rhythm to the song I was singing at the time. When I left APF, I promised to come back for her.” – Holly, former maintenance worker
Since 2001, chimpanzees at APF have not been used for research but have been warehoused while a for-profit lab received tax dollars for the chimps’ "care and maintenance". But now NCRR wants to move them to Texas to take part in invasive research.
This transfer must be stopped!
NCRR’s stated plan is to move 14-15 chimpanzees this summer and the remainder in January 2011. They are using taxpayer dollars to renovate housing used for much smaller macaques at Southwest National Primate Research Center instead of retiring the chimpanzees in peace at APF, a newly built facility that could be converted to a sanctuary.
APF is a legacy
of the United States Air Force’s “space chimps” program in New Mexico. After the Air Force was finished with gravity experiments and after the infamous Coulston Foundation was closed down, the government elected to maintain 288 chimpanzees on Holloman Air Force Base at the new APF. Flo, the oldest chimpanzee at APF, has involuntarily served the country her whole life and turns 53 this September.
Please place a short call to your Senators and Representative on behalf of the over 200 APF chimpanzees facing a life-sentence of lab research. Here are some important points to make when calling:
- Please stand up for what’s right before it’s too late: permanently retire the APF chimpanzees from research and convert APF into a sanctuary.
- New Mexicans believe in the humane treatment of animals, and we need Congressional leadership to ensure the chimps are retired in New Mexico.
- I have just learned that the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) plans to move over 200 chimpanzees out of the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) to a lab in Texas for invasive research. I am opposed to this plan.
- The experiments the chimpanzees will take part in are paid for with our tax dollars, but these experiments have proven to be an unethical and wasteful use of our limited resources.
- As you may know, the United States remains the last developed nation using chimpanzees in invasive research.
- The APF chimpanzees are a unique piece of New Mexico history, and we have a chance to give the animals peace and dignity while keeping 42 chimpanzee caretaking jobs in our state.
Thank you for speaking up for those without a voice!
Sen. Jeff Bingaman: (202) 224-5521
Sen. Tom Udall: (202) 224-6621
Congressional District 1 (Northern New Mexico): Rep. Ben Ray Luján: (202) 225-6190
Congressional District 2 (Central New Mexico): Rep. Martin Heinrich: (202) 225-6316
Congressional District 3 (Southern New Mexico): Rep. Harry Teague: (202) 225-2365
Flo in an outdoor enclosure at the front of APF. Flo has lived with other elder chimpanzees with indoor-outdoor access, fresh fruit, and enrichment at APF in New Mexico. The expected captive chimpanzee lifespan is 50. Flo turns 53 this September. Why subject her to this move?
Also see: History of Chimpanzees In New Mexico