Victory! Under Pressure, Government Shelves Plan to Return Chimpanzees to Lab

Thanks to pleas from New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, tens of thousands of e-mails from PETA supporters and others, and PETA's protests and letters, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has canceled its plan to pull 186 chimpanzees out of retirement and send them to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) in Texas, where they were slated to be used in invasive and painful infectious disease experiments! NIH has ordered a thorough review, which will take at least two years.

For the last decade, the chimpanzees, who had been tormented by the Air Force in cruel experiments, have been living in virtual retirement at New Mexico's Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF). Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, sharing 98 to 99 percent of our DNA. They are intelligent; have unique personalities; forge deep, lasting friendships; and experience profound suffering. The U.S. is the only developed country that continues to use chimpanzees in invasive experiments.

While these 186 chimpanzees are safe, the NIH has already transferred 14 chimpanzees of the original group of 202 to SFBR. Please join us in thanking the NIH for the reprieve and respectfully urge them to return the 14 chimpanzees to the Alamogordo facility. Please write to Francis Collins (director of the National Institutes of Health) and Kathleen Sebelius (secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

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