18 February 2009

Out of the shadows, into the sun (Lab chimpanzees)

This is some very interesting and also very sad reading. The television program is showing tonight and I would like to sit and watch it.. although I know already I will ned a box of tissues handy.
Read the link its very informative... makes one stop to think about humans as a species

Chimpanzees in laboratories, whether active participants in an experiment or “retired,” live in 5-by-5-by-7-foot stainless steel cages. They receive food and water but little in the way of toys, treats, attention or affection. Laboratories are not playgrounds or refuges, and researchers are not rehabilitators.

OAS_AD('x25'); World-renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, after visiting chimps confined alone in cages, wrote in a recent Jane Goodall Institute newsletter, “They are so grateful for a little human contact and love. They reach out to me from their cages in search of a hug or a kiss. And when I turn to leave, they scream and bang the walls.”

Sharing more than 98 percent the same DNA as humans, chimpanzees had been “recruited” to serve in the search for cures to AIDS and hepatitis. But, in the late 1980’s, something went haywire; as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was busy acquiring and breeding captive chimps for future use, the chimps themselves didn’t prove to be an effective model. Of the hundreds of chimps exposed to the HIV virus, almost none have contracted AIDS. Ready for retirement, the chimps face decades of solitary confinement.

Since most of these chimps already are infected, their use in future experiments is null. Consequently, hundreds now are being warehoused in the same labs where they once had been the subjects of research, at an estimated annual cost to taxpayers of $6 million to $8 million. Now consider the fact that chimpanzees have a life span of about 50 years. Confinement for these animals literally adds up to decades in cages and millions of taxpayers’ dollars.

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