Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A message from Gloria

Last night we all had an opportunity to be reminded of the horrors of laboratory life, on ABC's Nightline. A nine month investigation of the New Iberia Research Center, shows the reality of lab life, or should I say, lack of life.
As difficult as it was to watch this broadcast for a few minutes- we can only imagine how terrifying it is to life it.
We must always remember what is going on behind closed doors, and in these places, no matter how nice they look on the outside. Things we could never even begin to imagine are going on inside.
As someone who knows chimpanzees rescued from research, I was horrified at the footage and appreciated that ABC aired it. The conditions exposed are not unlike what our Fauna Chimpanzee's endured before they were released 11 years ago, and New Iberia was to be the fate of so many of the LEMSIP Chimp's. Apparently the lessons to be learned from so many labs closing and so many violators being fined have been lost on NIRC and others.
Every day I see the toll that lab confinement and use takes on chimpanzees and other animals. Tom, our eldest resident, wakes up gagging, unable to eat or drink for hours. Damaged from repeated, crude intubations? Nausea from a failing liver from more than 300 punch biopsies? I watched Jeannie, who died at too young an age, try to bring herself back to the world that she had learned to escape from by dissociating in stereotypic whirling and other symptoms of her psychological suffering. I watch Sue Ellen limp carrying her blankets to a sunny spot...a limp sustained in a cruel lab attempt to get her to mate with Billy - who she knew as her brother.
I want to see all chimpanzees -- not only those at New Iberia -- spend their final years in the comfort of sanctuary, with people who have respect for who they are, and empathy for what they have endured.
I know how much support and care the Fauna chimps get from the American public. that public has now met Siafu and others. I am counting on that public to get the Great Ape Protection Act passed. Though I am Canadian, our chimps are from the US - so all of us here at Fauna have a vested interest in helping all those remaining in US labs who are no different from the chimps we know and love.

Gloria Grow
Founder, Fauna Foundation
Project R&R Honorary co-Chair

**photo - Jeannie at Lemsip**

1 comment:

chimpaunty said...

Was so upset when I read your blog and then seen the video I could not sleep after that and crid for tese poor Chimps. My heart goes out to you and all the Chimps I have send it on to friends in the US and they are also very upset and angry that that is happening. much love to all from aunto to the chimps