Date: 15 Sept 2010
Primarily Primates and GRASP (a project of Friends of Animals) hereby express our concerns about the newly formed North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA). [Please scroll for the announcement from NAPSA.] Specifically, we're concerned as to whether this new group is going to operate more like a sanctuary or a zoo; the requirement of U.S. Department of Agriculture (or other government) licensing suggests the latter. The USDA is about as far from a champion of animal rights as an entity gets. Nor has it been a champion of welfare; on the contrary, it has traditionally condoned, shielded, and half-heartedly regulated the use, transport, and trade of nonhuman beings.
What is truly needed for the refuge community is a strong and caring alliance that would have saved a struggling refuge. In 2006, a crisis at Primarily Primates showed that no association had both of those traits. The American Sanctuary Association has been around for years, and it has accrediting authority, and good will -- but not the strength to save one of the continent's oldest primate sanctuaries. That strength came from one animal-advocacy non-profit: Friends of Animals, with its 50+ year track record of championing animal rights and well-being.
Sanctuary proponents have been welcomed onto the premises to see personally the wonderful progress Primarily Primates has made in the past two years under Friends of Animals' umbrella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture could not have rejuvenated it and cannot assure its future. A safe, well-trained and devoted group of animal advocates can do so, with the help of devoted donors. Thank goodness (and hard work), that's what we have cultivated for Primarily Primates today.
Regarding a subsequent crisis in Texas with the Wild Animal Orphanage: Active American Sanctuary Association members and board have managed already to assure placement for about a third of all the animals; the work continues.
We cannot be sure whether or not the newly formed NAPSA group will have the combination of strength and caring needed in the future, but rolling out an ape sanctuary group without having spoken with Primarily Primates at all doesn't give us faith. This the NAPSA founders would understand were the shoe on the other foot -- and acting as though the shoe ~were~ on the other foot would be the hallmark of an effective and caring sanctuary advocacy group.
From: Primate Sanctuaries To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:49 PM
On July 21, 2010, the leaders of seven North American chimpanzee sanctuaries gathered in Bend, OR to create a new initiative, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA). Founded by the directors of The Center for Great Apes, Chimp Haven, Chimps, Inc., Chimp Sanctuary Northwest, Fauna Foundation, Primate Rescue Center, Inc, and Save the Chimps, Inc, the mission of NAPSA is:
"To advance the welfare of captive primates through exceptional sanctuary care, collaboration, and outreach.”
The launch of NAPSA is dedicated to the late Dr. Carole Noon, founder of Save the Chimps.
NAPSA is modeled in part after the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). Among its many goals are to unify and establish the integrity and quality of primate sanctuaries across North America; distinguish true sanctuaries from facilities that falsely claim to be sanctuaries; share resources and information that will help improve the quality of care provided to all captive non-human primates; develop a strategy for placement of unwanted primates as well as responses to urgent situations; communicate with one voice to the media and general public.
NAPSA was founded by a group of chimpanzee sanctuary directors, and will have an initial focus on chimpanzee issues. However, the challenges faced by chimpanzees in North America are shared by other species of non-human primates. As NAPSA grows, the organization intends to welcome the participation of primate sanctuaries caring for other ape and monkey species.
In the coming months, NAPSA will be working with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to develop standards for chimpanzee care in sanctuaries. A website, membership criteria, and other programs will also be forthcoming.
We will keep you posted of new developments as our organization grows, and we invite you to contact us at email@example.com