Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fifteen years, fifteen chimpanzees


2012 is a very special year for the Fauna Foundation since it will mark the 15th anniversary of the arrival of the first 15 Chimpanzees at Fauna. This anniversary is significant for us because eight of those fifteen were the first HIV-positive chimpanzees ever to be released in sanctuary and because Fauna was, and still is, the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in Canada. However, as meaningful as this event is for us, it is even more so for Billy, Jeannie, Pablo, Tommy, Donna Rae, Pepper, Sue Ellen and Yoko because coming to live at Fauna is, simply stated, the best thing that was ever done for them; and, thankfully, the best thing also for Annie, Rachel, Chance, Petra, Jethro, Regis and Binky, the other chimps who came to live at Fauna in 1997.

Donna Rae

Over the course of this year, we will celebrate several important milestones and we will honour the memory of the precious souls who gave their lives for us and expected nothing in return. They are the reason for our existence and for our determination to improve the lives of all chimpanzees suffering in U.S labs.

We will revisit some of the truly remarkable moments we have shared with you as well as some of the more painful ones but, as always, with a view to the future and to our continued hope for a better life for chimpanzees as we continue to work towards common purpose.

We will also bring a renewed focus and energy to our fight for a better future for the monkeys, the dogs, the pigs and the other animals still suffering in research laboratories today. We will work relentlessly to end research on all living beings. We will not rest until we have succeeded in freeing every last one of those held captive by the huge companies who refuse to adopt ways of doing research that do not involve torturing other sentient beings.


We have come a long way in the past fifteen years and that is cause for celebration, but we still have a long way to go to achieve our mission of ending chimpanzee research. We dream of the day when there are no chimpanzees left in laboratories and when those responsible for their deplorable situation finally step up to accept responsibility by providing for their retirement into sanctuary.

You and I have worked tirelessly to raise public awareness of the plight of chimpanzees, to care for those who live in sanctuaries and to protect those still remaining in research labs. Together, we have helped by writing or calling legislators to let them know how unhappy we are with this tragic situation and that we will make sure it ends.

Billy Jo

We must not stop now; we are so close. We cannot leave it alone, let ourselves be distracted by other matters or simply forget. If we do, we will be taking a backward step and losing some hard-won ground in this fight. We have won the first round and we need to re-energize for the coming ones. Because if we don't, who will?

Six years ago, I was invited to co-chair Project R & R- Release and Restitution for chimpanzees in U.S laboratories, a New-England Antivivisection Society (NEAVS) campaign. It was an incredible opportunity for me to join the efforts of Dr. Theodora Capaldo, President of NEAVS and her team of brilliant, committed and compassionate animal welfare activists including, among others, Dr. Jarrod Bailey, Dr. Lorin Lindner, Dr. Gay Bradshaw, Dr. Marjorie Cramer and Dr. Marge Peppercorn. Working alongside people with such deep understanding of the injustice done to chimpanzees and such determination to end their suffering has been extremely rewarding for me. It was as rewarding, in fact, as it was to be able rescue those first fifteen chimpanzees and to give them a decent life after research.


Last December, after years of advocating on our part and following a nine-month study called for by the US National Institute of Health (NIH), the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary. This pivotal report is the first step toward ending all chimpanzee research in U.S. laboratories. If the recommended criteria for new chimpanzee research are scrupulously applied, they will in fact end all chimpanzee use. We believe the IOM report—along with other scientific, public and legislator support— is instrumental to passage of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, the bill now before Congress that will end the use of all great apes in invasive research and retire US-owned chimpanzees to sanctuary.


None of us could have done alone what our team accomplished, but one of the most gratifying aspects of being part of this team is being constantly reminded that each and every voice is important and needs to be heard. This respectful approach has led to some huge strides forward by combining some very disparate viewpoints. It has allowed me to share as much as I possibly could about the chimps' histories to help further change and I am so proud to have been part of it.

All of us, small group that we are, have brought about changes that will affect the lives of millions forever, simply because we believe in our cause. Seldom has the well-known saying by Margaret Mead's often-quoted saying rung more true for me:


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."

Thank you for being there for us, for caring, and for helping us give the chimpanzees here at Fauna a better life.


If you have not read the reports on the Institute of Medicines study, please read some of the articles below and feel proud that you too have been an important part of this momentous change.


Let us remember ALL who have died in research, after research, and because of research.
For our special friends: we celebrate having known them and we will always remember them.

Pablo: October 6, 2001
Annie: January 10, 2002
Donna Rae: March 14, 2005
Billy Jo: February 14, 2006
Jeannie: January 1, 2007
Sophie: April 23, 2008
Tom: December 10, 2009


IOM Announcement Links

Here are a few links that we suggest you read in regards to the IOM announcement mentioned above.

Tom National Post - The National Post covered the story and used a wonderful picture of our beloved Tom: No More Monkey Business

The IOM announcement was published one year after Tom passed away, almost to the day. He continues to look after his fellow chimpanzees!

- New York Times: U.S. Will Not Finance New Research on Chimps

- Read the full IOM report here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Urgent Action Call: Make a Call during National Call-In Week for Chimpanzees

To: All Fauna supporters in the US

As a supporter of the Fauna Sanctuary, you are well aware of the plight of captive chimpanzees and you have shown how much you care by adopting a chimp or donating to our Lifetime Care Fund or to one of our special projects. In doing so, you have helped give Pepper and everyone else in the Fauna chimp family a new lease on life. As you know, many other chimps have not been so fortunate and are still being exploited in US laboratories, waiting their turn to be released into sanctuary. This will only happen through legislative change and only with your support. Here is how you can help.

National Call-In Week for Chimpanzees in laboratories begins TODAY! Please take a moment to contact (for phone numbers/emails click here) your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513), which will end painful experiments on chimpanzees and retire them to sanctuary.

  • If you called or e-mailed before, please be a part of this national push by contacting your legislators again. A few minutes will help Congress understand that their constituents are behind this bill ALL THE WAY.
  • If your legislator is already a co-sponsor, (legislative map), thank them and ask them to put their leadership behind this bill’s success.
  • If they are not yet signed on, ask them what information they might need to help them join their bi-partisan colleagues who are already supporting the bill.
Here are talking points:
  • I am calling to ask Representative X [names appear in this message automatically]/Senator X [names appear in this message automatically to co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810/H.R. 1513) because… [personalize with your reason]
  • Chimpanzees in laboratories suffer physically and psychologically. It is unethical, inhumane and scientifically unnecessary to continue to use them.
  • This bill will save millions in federal tax dollars, help reduce the deficit and redirect NIH funding to better research that will truly benefit humans.
Once you’ve called, please record it on our tracking form and let us know how it went. It helps us to know how many calls our supporters made when we visit members of Congress.

We, along with NEAVS/Project R&R, are committed to ending the exploitation of chimpanzees held captive in laboratories. But we can’t do it without your help. Ending chimpanzee experiments in the U.S. will free more than 1,000 individuals from suffering, crushing boredom and living and dying in a laboratory.

Over the last few months, major scientific journals and media outlets such as Scientific American and the New York Times have published opinion pieces declaring that it’s time to ban research on chimpanzees. Scientists from both public and private sectors agree that the use of chimpanzees can end without any negative impact on human health and well-being. So why does it continue?

Join our fight to end the unethical and ineffective use of chimpanzees in biomedical research and testing. Your members of Congress need to know that you care deeply about this issue and that, like millions of others nationwide, you are committed to seeing the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act signed into law!

Please call your members of Congress NOW and urge them to support this historic bill and tell us what their reply was. Please forward this e-alert to your family and friends to make sure that we keep the phones ringing and the emails flowing on Capitol Hill this week.

Do it for yourself and for all the chimpanzees who are counting on us!!

Thank you,

Gloria Grow,
Founder and Director
Fauna Sanctuary

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Psychology Today by: Gay Bradshaw

According to a report in today's New York Times, "Chimps' days in labs may be dwindling." [2] Should Congress pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011 [3], this may indeed be true. The legislation bans invasive research on all great apes, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, gibbons, and orangutans.

Imagine there's no heaven

For those currently incarcerated and subjected to invasive research, it is easy to imagine that there is no heaven. The Act defines ‘invasive research' as "any research that may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma to a great ape, including [3]:

Photo: Jeannie at LEMSIP

Visit the following link for the full article:


Chimps’ Days in Labs May Be Dwindling

Marlon, a 10-year-old chimpanzee at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana.

Published: November 14, 2011

NEW IBERIA, La. — In a dome-shaped outdoor cage, a dozen chimpanzees are hooting. The hair on their shoulders sticks straight up. “That’s piloerection,” a sign of emotional arousal, says Dr. Dana Hasselschwert, head of veterinary sciences at the New Iberia Research Center. She tells a visitor to keep his distance. The chimps tend to throw pebbles — or worse — when they get excited.

This week: Beyond planet Earth, taking care of our closest relatives, and when your brain just won’t deliver.

The Science Times

Chimps’ similarity to humans makes them valuable for research, and at the same time inspires intense sympathy. To research scientists, they may look like the best chance to cure terrible diseases. But to many other people, they look like relatives behind bars.

Biomedical research on chimps helped produce a vaccine for hepatitis B, and is aimed at one for hepatitis C, which infects 170 million people worldwide, but there has long been an outcry against the research as cruel and unnecessary. Now, because of a major push by advocacy organizations, a decision to stop such research in the United States could come within a year. As it is, the United States is one of only two countries that conduct invasive research on chimpanzees. The other is the central African nation of Gabon.

“This is a very different moment than ever before,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. “Now is the time to get these chimps out of invasive research and out of the labs.”

John VandeBerg, director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, one of six labs that house chimpanzees, agreed that this is “a crucial moment.” Any of several efforts by opponents “could be the cause of a halt in all medical research with chimpanzees,” he said.

The Humane Society of the United States and other groups pushed the National Institutes of Health to commission a report on the usefulness of chimps in research, due this year. The society also joined with the Jane Goodall Institute, the Wildlife Conservation Society and others to petition the federal Fish and Wildlife Service to declare captive chimps endangered, as wild chimps already are, giving them new protections. A decision is due by next September.

In addition, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, now in Congress, would ban invasive research on all great apes (including bonobos, gorillas and orangutans). Representative Roscoe Bartlett, a Maryland Republican who is one of the bill’s sponsors, says it would save taxpayers $30 million a year spent on chimpanzees owned by the government.

Mr. Pacelle says that invasive research on chimpanzees is expensive, that there are alternatives and that chimps in research studies suffer painful procedures and isolation. “This is an endangered species that is closer than any other species genetically,” he said. “And we shouldn’t abuse our power.”

Dr. VandeBerg, on the other hand, says that stopping research with chimps would be a threat to human lives.

“Any reduction in the rate of development of drugs for these diseases will mean hundreds of thousands of people, really millions of people, dying because it would be years of delay,” he said.

If human lives can be saved, Dr. VandeBerg said, “it would be grossly unethical not to do research” on chimpanzees.

There are 1,000 chimps housed in research facilities in the United States, including at the New Iberia Research Center. The center, part of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, occupies 100 acres in the heart of Cajun country about 130 miles west of New Orleans. It houses 360 chimpanzees, 240 of which belong to the university and 120 to the N.I.H., and more than 6,000 other primates, mostly rhesus macaque monkeys. It has faced accusations of chimp mistreatment in the past, and some violations of animal care standards were found, and corrected, according to Department of Agriculture inspections. The latest, in July, found some outdated drugs for the animals.

On a recent visit, some of the chimpanzees were in 34-foot-diameter geodesic domes, some in smaller outdoor cages, and some, less than 10 at that time, said Dr. Thomas J. Rowell, the director of the center, were in active studies and held in indoor cages about 6 feet by 5 feet and 7 feet high, one chimp per cage. * The physical procedures involved in the studies, he said, involved injections, blood samples and liver biopsies, the latter done under sedation.

Many studies last only a couple of days, Dr. Rowell said, but a few are longer. A study near completion had been going on for four months. He passionately defended the center’s treatment of chimps, emphasizing the veterinary care and efforts to enrich the chimps’ lives with more interesting environments.

Using captive chimpanzees for research in this country dates to the 1920s, when Robert Yerkes, a Yale psychology professor, began to bring them into the country. During the 1950s, the Air Force began to breed chimps for the space program, starting with 65 caught in the wild. Chimps were also bred for AIDS research in the 1980s, which met a dead end. By the mid-1970s, support for preservation of threatened species had grown, and the importing of wild-caught chimps was prohibited. In 2000, a federal law was passed requiring the government to provide for retirement of chimps it owned after their use in experiments was over, and Chimp Haven opened near Shreveport, La., to care for these chimps and others.

It was an attempt to bring some semiretired chimps at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico back into the research pipeline that prompted part of the recent surge of opposition. The N.I.H. wanted to move about 200 chimps it owned from Alamogordo to the San Antonio center, which is part of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute. The Humane Society lobbied to prevent the move, and the N.I.H. relented, asking the Institute of Medicine, an advisory board, for the report on chimps in experimentation this year.

Chimp Haven, one potential retirement destination, now has 132 chimps on 200 acres of pine woods. Chimps live in a variety of cages and enclosures, including concrete-walled play yards of about a quarter of an acre, open to the sky, and two forested habitats, one four acres and the other five, bounded by a moat and fences. But chimps at research centers might not move at all, even if research is stopped. They might simply stay where they are, exempt from invasive studies.

Whatever the decision, both researchers and advocates know that chimps are only one tiny piece of animal research, one part of a bigger debate.

Kathleen Conlee, senior director for animal research issues at the Humane Society, says that the current discussion about chimps points the way to the future. “This,” she said, “is the kind of rigorous analysis we should be applying to all animal research.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 14, 2011

A previous version of this article gave an incomplete name for a bill now in Congress. The bill is called the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011.

*The attached photo shows one of the cages the rescued chimps (now at the Fauna Sanctuary) lived in for years while enduring painful experiments. The cages (including the floors) were made of metal bars; they were hauled up to the ceiling each day where they then lived in isolation-- no enrichment or direct contact with any other chimps (though in the wild they live in extended families).

** This year’s film ” Project Nim” shows the quality of the lives of some of the scientists doing these experiments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wildlife at Fauna

Early morning at Fauna. Our front pasture full of wild Canada Geese.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Gifts for the Chimps/Des cadeaux pour les ch

Special Thank You to all who have donated gifts /Nos plus sincères remerciements à tous ceux et celles qui ont offert des cadeaux..

Christophier Diaz, Taryn Graham, Lise Brais, Mara ScomParin, Tanya McAleer, alise Thibault, Jessica Tremblay, Celine Lavallee, Dawna Killen-Courtney, Shainty Rant, Nathalie Martel