On July 21, 2010, the leaders of seven North American chimpanzee sanctuaries gathered in Bend, Oregon to create a new initiative, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA). Its stated mission is: "To advance the welfare of captive primates through exceptional sanctuary care, collaboration, and outreach.”
Primarily Primates and GRASP (a project of Friends of Animals) hereby express our concerns about the newly formed North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (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. Read more here.
An important message from GRASP:
Is Spain poised to grant legal protection for great apes?
Supporters of GRASP should feel empowered to spend a few minutes writing, on paper, your support for Garrido's "proposicion de ley", sign it, and send it. Just a few lines by hand (in English or Spanish; see sample below) will suffice; it is the volume of letters that matters. Writing from universities or other institutions also helps. In addition, please inform others of this alert. Full details can be found here.
"Should Labs Treat Chimps More Like Humans?"(National Geographic News, September 6, 2005)
The announcement last week that scientists have pieced together the genome sequence of the chimpanzee-and found that humans and chimps are 96 percent similar-has reignited a debate over the ethics of biological research using chimpanzees.
Up to 3,000 great apes (mostly West African chimpanzees) live in captivity in the United States. Some are housed in zoos and sanctuaries. But many were bred for medical research. Two federally funded research institutions use chimps for biomedical experiments.
...In an article in the science journal Nature, Gagneux and colleagues went so far as to recommend that studies using chimpanzees should follow ethical principles generally similar to those currently used in studies on human subjects who are unable to give informed consent.
A UC San Diego scientist calls for stricter guidelines for the ethical and humane treatment of research chimpanzees, stating: "I'm not against animal experiments in principle, but I believe we can study chimpanzees without doing irreparable harm to them," he said.
But the director of the laboratory at Yerkes, which uses chimpanzees, states: "I don't think we should make a distinction between our obligation to treat humanely any species, whether it's a rat or a monkey or a chimpanzee. No matter how much we may wish it, chimps are not human."
Our Animal Nature
In a recent interview called On the Bookshelf: Finding our animal nature (September 2005), Betsy Querna asks Frans de Waal about the new book Our Inner Ape, which comes out this October. De Waal is a primatologist and professor in the psychology department at Emory University.
Note the ethical tension between acknowledging that we are simply one of a variety of apes, yet continuing to confine and control other apers in order to examine their lives. Also note the contradiction between seeing our "animal side" as an aggressive nature that needs to be civilized, and the reassurance at the end that we should want to be associated with nonhuman beings.
July 21, 2001
From Property to Person - The Case of Evelyn Hart
By popular request, our site now features the article just printed in the Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, "From Property to Person: The Case of Evelyn Hart." Click here for more information.
November 27, 2000
The Great Ape Trial
The project, designed for Grade 11 students, is a mock trial in an actual courtroom. Although a real "great ape trial" is still somewhere in the future, the case these students will be arguing is as realistic as it comes.
October 2, 2000
The very first edition of Uptime: A News Magazine featured the legal rights of non-human primates, and aired on Arlington Community Television. The show was about 25 minutes long.
September 13, 2000
Chimp Cross Fostering Study Cancelled
By Penny Brown Roberts, The Times ("Academia's Weekly Newspaper")
Ivory Tower squabbles have put a stop to Daniel Povinelli's controversial chimpanzee enculturation project at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. But will one of the institution's most high-profile researchers simply take his work elsewhere?
July 16, 2000
The Million Dollar Question
McDonnell Foundation has decided to award a million-dollar grant to Daniel Povinelli — a researcher at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — in order to study differences between the reasoning methods of chimpanzees and humans. Povinelli plans to raise infant chimpanzees in human homes, a practice termed cross-fostering. Later, after the infants have bonded with these families, they will be taken away and placed in a research environment.
We object to this grant and the suffering it will engender. Read the GRASP Position Statement on the planned cross-fostering Chimpanzee experiment.
June 11, 2000
The Significance of the Makah Whaling Decision
On 9 June 2000, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals overturned the ruling that allowed Washington state's Makah tribe to resume whales along the coast of Washington state, holding that the environmental impact of the hunt had not been adequately considered. Learn more on the repercussions on environmental impact statements.