In ten days, all invasive research on chimpanzees in the United States will cease. Let that sink in for a minute.
In response to a petition by a coalition of animal welfare groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is elevating the status of all chimpanzees to endangered, thereby granting them a greater level of protection. Beginning on September 14th, any activity that causes harm to chimpanzees will require a permit, and permits will only be issued for research that benefits wild chimpanzees or conservation efforts. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the effective deadline for obtaining a permit was today, due to public notice requirements. And as of today, no permits have been issued.
It’s hard to overstate how important this is. For nearly a hundred years, chimpanzees have suffered and died in our pursuit of scientific and medical advancements. Later this month, all invasive research on chimpanzees will, at least for a moment, come to an end. Whether any permits will be requested in the future is uncertain, but this much is clear: the era of widespread chimpanzee research in the United States is over. And that’s worth celebrating.
Now we need to get these chimpanzees into sanctuaries. We told you at the beginning of this year about our plans for the future of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, and we’re excited to report that, thanks to your generosity, we are ahead of schedule. We’re looking forward to sharing our vision for expanding the sanctuary as it develops and working with you to see it to fruition.
At CSNW, these seven chimpanzees have found a home where they are loved and respected and supported by people around the world. But inside every laboratory, there is a Missy longing to run free, an Annie aching for companionship, a Jody yearning for comfort, a Foxie wishing for someone to play with, a Burrito dreaming of a good meal, a Jamie desperate for a sense of control, and a Negra who wants nothing more than to bask in the sun. They all deserve a life in sanctuary. We, as a community, will make that happen.