Thanks to a significant push by a number of advocacy organizations, a decision to stop the use of chimpanzees in research in the United States could come within a year. According to a new report published in the New York Times, the United States is one of only two countries that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. The other is the central African nation of Gabon.
The Humane Society of the United States has joined with the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society and others to petition the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to declare captive chimps endangered, as wild chimps already are, giving them new protections. A decision is due by next September.
In addition, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, now in Congress, would ban invasive research on all great apes (including bonobos, gorillas and orangutans).
According to the New York Times, using captive chimpanzees for research in this country dates to the 1920s, when Robert Yerkes, a Yale psychology professor, began to bring them into the country. There are 1,000 chimps housed in research facilities all over the United States.
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