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110 Chimpanzees, Including 10 Chimps From the Alamogordo Primate Facility, Eligible for Sanctuary Following NIH Announcement

Help these individuals see sanctuary instead of a lifetime of lab confinement!

Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, announced on September 21, 2012, that 110 chimpanzees from the invasive research lab New Iberia Research Center would be removed from invasive studies. Read Scientific American’s reporting here.

That’s good news!

However, Animal Protection of New Mexico has learned that private laboratories are working to maintain control of these chimpanzees and refuse to release the individuals to sanctuaries.

Documents show at least 10 chimps from New Mexico’s Alamogordo Primate Facility will be shipped to the Southwest National Primate Research Center instead of to a sanctuary. Read APNM’s press release on the disturbing developments for chimps here and in-depth reporting from the Houston Press on how chimps are suffering at the lab here.

Here’s how you can make a difference TODAY:
  1. Write to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, request sanctuary for all chimps in labs, and explain that this move will also save tax dollars. You can use our online link to send a message or send your own letter via U.S. mail: http://www.fnih.org/contact

  2. Call your members of Congress and ask them to stop the transfer of chimps to labs. Use these points when making calls to both of your U.S. Senators and your one U.S. Representative – remember your quick, polite phone calls will make a world of difference for chimpanzees suffering in laboratories:
    1. Please immediately halt all transfer of chimpanzees to the Southwest National Primate Research Center.
    2. Editorials from Scientific American, Albuquerque Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and more support the end of the use of chimps in research.
    3. Chimpanzees should be housed at sanctuaries for a fraction of the cost of housing chimpanzees in labs. Sanctuaries can provide high quality care to the chimpanzees, while labs will be free to pursue humane, effective research.

Sterling at the New Iberia Research Center. Photo: Humane Society of the United States, 2008 undercover investigation.
A Requiem for Sterling

Not all chimpanzees will see retirement. For chimps like Sterling, it is already too late.

Sterling was born in captivity in New Mexico in 1987 and was transferred to the New Iberia Research Center in 2006. Documents and video show a steady decline in his mental and physical health, including numerous incidents of self-mutilation, screaming, excessive weight loss, chronic diarrhea, and depressive and anxiety disorders. Sterling was never used in protocols at the New Iberia Research Center because of his psychological disorders and died in the lab.

For Sterling, all we can offer up are prayers.

But for Sterling’s colleagues from New Mexico who are still housed at the New Iberia Research Center, including Jolene, Clayton, Ashley, Barry, Tinkerbell, Axl, Rero, P.G., Tobias, and Hulk, there is still time to pressure our government and secure some peace and dignity for chimps at the end of their lives.

Thank you for taking action in honor of Sterling and his colleagues!

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