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APNM’s Laura Bonar Given
Grassroots Leadership Award
Leadership on Chimps to Sanctuary Campaign Recognized
At a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. in late July and attended by numerous representatives of national and international organizations, the National Council for Animal Protection (NCAP), bestowed its first annual Distinguished Grassroots Leadership Award on Laura Bonar, Program Director of Animal Protection of New Mexico. The honor was created to recognize a significant and positive contribution by an individual and/or grassroots organization who has “...taken animal advocacy to the summit” by advancing greater respect, compassion and justice for animals and whose actions exemplify the Code of Ethics of NCAP.
A framed piece of unique artwork, painted by chimpanzee Sheba and donated by Chimp Haven, was the perfect gift with which to honor Laura’s tireless efforts on behalf of the Alamogordo Primate Facility chimpanzees. (L to R: Katie Conlee, Elisabeth Jennings, Laura Bonar, Peggy Cunniff, Sue Leary)

In comments to the audience, international animal welfare leader, Michael Baker, the Director General of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, shared his gratitude and congratulations to Laura for her extraordinary work on behalf of chimpanzees. (L to R: Peggy Cunniff, Laura Bonar, Michael Baker, Sue Leary, Bee Friedlander)

In their nomination of Ms. Bonar for the NCAP award, Peggy Cunniff, executive director of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, and Sue Leary, president of the American Anti-Vivisection Society said:

“Laura Bonar has spear-headed an impressive and professional effort that has contributed to significant public awareness and positive change on behalf of chimpanzees during her relatively short time as Program Director at Animal Protection of New Mexico. Ms. Bonar’s campaign against the transfer of an aging colony of former research chimpanzees in Alamogordo, New Mexico back into research at a Texas facility led New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to call for an investigation into the proposed transfer; which in turn led New Mexico Senators Udall and Bingaman to successfully request an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study on the efficacy of using any chimpanzees in research. Due in part to her hard work and dedication raising awareness about the Alamogordo chimpanzees, Ms. Bonar was one of only 20 individuals to testify during a public comment section of hearings held by the IOM, as part of their formal study on the future need for chimpanzees in research."

The mission of the National Council for Animal Protection is to help its members achieve individual and collective goals to improve the treatment and status of all animals. Since 1985 the leaders of national animal protection organizations have come together to enhance cooperation, communication, professionalism and the effectiveness of our efforts on behalf of animals.

Laura received a triple nomination, with additional support from Katie Conlee, Vice President, Animal Research Issues at the Humane Society of the United States, a leader in efforts to secure permanent retirement for all former research chimpanzees in the United States.

“Laura is a phenomenal leader who knows how to engage people in change for the better, and her talents in that regard have never been more needed than in APNM’s campaign to permanently retire the Alamogordo Primate Facility chimpanzees,” said Elisabeth Jennings, Executive Director of APNM. “One of the best ways we can honor Laura’s contributions is to muster everything we can to ensure chimpanzees are eventually free from harm.”
Noelle Callahan, research Policy Specialist with Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, also a leader in efforts to permanently retire former research chimpanzees, joined many others in thanking Laura for her leadership.

Collaborative work to end the use of chimpanzees in research took another step forward on Wednesday, July 25, when the Senate Environment and Public Works committee voted to move the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act forward. The bill now awaits a full Senate vote.

Thank you to all the individuals and organizations who continue to speak up to Congress in support of this bill. The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act will retire all chimps in government custody to sanctuary and free up research dollars for humane, effective science.

Want To Thank Laura Yourself?
You can add your voice to those who have recognized Laura’s groundbreaking work to build momentum for chimpanzees and their retirement from research. Choose one or all of these actions to keep making a difference for the chimpanzees who deserve to live the rest of their lives in peace.

  1. Post a comment to APNM’s Facebook page.
  2. Share this email on your Facebook page and encourage your friends to “Like” APNM’s Facebook page too.
  3. Make a contribution to APNM’s Chimps to Sanctuary campaign in honor of Laura’s accomplishments, and help APNM continue on the path to permanent retirement for the chimpanzees at Alamogordo Primate Facility.
For further information about NCAP, please contact Bee Friedlander, secretary of the NCAP executive committee: bee.friedlander@animalsandsociety.org; 734.677.9240.

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