Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NEAVS Helps Tip The Scales On IOM Chimp Study

The New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) testified before the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies of Science during their second public meeting held in Washington D.C., August 11 – 12th. The Committee on Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research (the Committee) is charged with evaluating the scientific necessity of chimpanzee research. The National Institutes of Health instructed the Committee not to consider ethical concerns.

During the Public Comment forum, Dr. Theodora Capaldo, NEAVS President, advised the Committee by quoting Nature: “The agency [NIH] may wish to divorce the science from the ethics, but society at large will not accept such a distinction... nor is it intellectually defensible.” Dr. Capaldo’s testimony made it clear that one cannot separate scientific concerns from humane ones, since the well-documented physiological stress chimpanzees and other animals suffer from laboratory confinement and use affects their brains, bodies, and immune systems, having a profound effect on the nature of the data obtained from their use.

At the Committee’s first public forum on May 26th, NEAVS’ Science Director, Dr. Jarrod Bailey, was among the scientists the Committee invited to testify. Dr. Bailey provided testimony that the use of chimpanzees in HIV/AIDS, cancer, hepatitis C, and other human disease research has been limited, inaccurate, un-predictive, and unnecessary and has contributed little or nothing to human health. Dr. Bailey summarized his research for the Committee:

“After careful review of over thirty years of chimpanzee use in many areas of human disease research, the following conclusions can be drawn and supported scientifically... they’re rarely used today. They have proven to be poor models in many areas, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C; chimpanzee use in cancer and heart disease research has been almost non-existent because either they don’t get the disease, or they get a very different disease. There is burgeoning evidence of major, important and widespread genetic differences showing why chimpanzees are poor models for human research….and why they can never be good models.”

At the recent meeting, Dr. Capaldo expanded upon Dr. Bailey’s testimony by citing research on the psychological and physiological stress effects on chimpanzees in labs:

“Studies have established that chimpanzees in research suffer from PTSD, depression and other psychological maladies. And routine and invasive procedures cause elevations of physiological stress indicators…. Stress affects immune systems—crucial for the study of infectious diseases—and vital organs such as the liver—important for the metabolism of drugs—and renders the use of chimpanzees flawed science…even if assumed they may have value—which we do not.”

Dr. Capaldo backed her scientific arguments with the dire ethical concerns surrounding chimpanzee use. She concluded her testimony by introducing the committee to Jeannie and Tom, rescued from years of invasive research by the Fauna Foundation. They both later died in sanctuary. Dr. Capaldo reminded committee members that despite their mandate to focus only on the science, “we are talking about living beings, not test tubes.” She read an excerpt from Jeannie’s history of use and psychological suffering and from Tom’s autopsy report—both undeniable proof of the physical and psychological suffering that chimpanzees endure, noting, “Their stories are not atypical.” She asserted that, “Arguing [their] worth to research, except as a study of its casualties, would be indefensible.” The room was silent. She appealed to the Committee that to arrive at an informed decision, the ethical concerns http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifsurrounding chimpanzee use cannot be put aside—for scientific as well as ethical reasons and that including them “will direct the better science that would follow.”

Read more…

Bear in Mind Exploring the common minds and emotions of people and other animals and their lives together. by G.A. Bradshaw

We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism. -Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1992

Last week, the National Academies of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee convened to discuss the "Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research" [1]. The IOM is regarded as "the health arm" of the National Academies and is comprised of NIH, NIMH, and other scientists and biomedical researchers. Its stated goals are concerned with the science describing humans and chimpanzees. Scientists have been enlisted to assess the utility and ethics of chimpanzees as experimental subjects in lieu of humans: to decide whether or not it is scientifically viable and ethical to continue to use chimpanzees as our surrogates in experiments that cause debilitating diseases and mental breakdown.

Read full article below:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today is Jethro's Birthday / C’est l’anniversaire de Jethro.

Jethro is 22 years old today, and still a young boy. Jethro is a sweet gentle giant and he is a friend to everyone in the chimp house. He always chooses who he wants to be with from week to week. If Jethro is not moving with the group it means he wants a new friend and will always let us know exactly who he wants to be with. Lately his preferred friends have been Spock, Binky and Maya. Jethro is very playful and makes the the most adorable play faces. He is the most playful in the morning just prior to cleaning...a little tickle and kiss on the forehead and he is a happy guy. Jethro has been spending much of his time out on the islands. In the morning we can often see him sitting high up on the island platforms quietly grooming Spock.

Why not visit our adopt-a-chimp page http://www.adopt-a-chimp.com/ and purchase an adoption kit of Jethro for someone special in your life.

Jethro a 22 ans aujourd’hui, une jeunesse, quoi! Ce colosse au cœur tendre s’entend bien avec tout le monde et il choisit ses fréquentations de semaine en semaine. Quand il ne suit pas le groupe, c’est qu’il est prêt à se trouver un nouvel ami et il nous fait toujours savoir qui il a choisi. Ces derniers temps, il a une préférence pour Spock, Binky et Maya. Quand Jethro s’amuse, il a des expressions des plus cocasses, surtout le matin, juste avant le nettoyage; il lui suffit d’une petite chatouille ou d’un baiser sur le front, et il est tout content! Il passe beaucoup de temps sur les îles. Le matin, on peut l’apercevoir assis tranquillement en haut des plateformes, en train de toiletter Spock.

Pourquoi ne pas consulter notre page d’adoption http://www.adopt-a-chimp.com/ et acheter un forfait d’adoption de Jethro pour quelqu’un qui vous est cher?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chimpanzee research an endangered species as experts debate usefulness, ethics


Published on Sunday, August 14, 2011 by the Washington Post

USA, Gabon: The Only Countries Still Conducting Research on Chimpanzees

Chimpanzee research an endangered species as experts debate usefulness, ethics

by Brian Vastag

They were crucial for vaccines against hepatitis A and B. They took part in hundreds of early studies of HIV. And in 1961, two of them were shot into space.
Ham was sent into space and returned to Earth in January 1961.

Currently, there are about 1,000 medical research chimps in the United States But the role of chimpanzees in medical research is at a crossroads. Last week, the highest scientific body in the land put the issue on trial as a committee of the Institute of Medicine, part of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences, met to deliberate the fate of nearly all of the world’s remaining medical research chimps.
The European Union banned the practice last year, leaving the United States and Gabon as the only countries conducting medical research on chimpanzees. At drug companies, chimp research is waning with the emergence of lower-cost, higher-tech alternatives.
“If you’re a scientist, a chimp is really a sort of last resort,” said Harold Watson, who directs the chimpanzee research program at the National Institutes of Health, which manages 734 of the nearly 1,000 medical research chimps in the United States.
Last year, the issue blew up at NIH. That’s when the agency announced it would move 200 older apes from a facility in New Mexico to an active research lab in Texas. A parade of politicians, activists and famous faces — including former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D) and chimpanzee champion Jane Goodall — mounted an uprising. NIH relented, transferring just 14 of the animals before charging the Institute of Medicine with arbitrating the issue in January.
The Institute of Medicine will issue its findings by the end of the year. Although Watson said NIH officials would “pay attention” to the recommendations — which could include ending all medical research on chimps — he declined to predict the agency’s response. “I can’t tell you what impact [the report] is going to have,” he said.
Already, though, chimps — expensive, difficult to handle and so like humans — are falling out of favor with researchers.
From 2007 to 2010, the number of biomedical chimp studies conducted in the United States declined from 53 to 32, said Robert Purcell, a virus researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of NIH. Just one of those studies involved HIV — which in the 1980s and 1990s was extensively studied in apes. None of the studies involved cancer.
“Use of chimps for HIV decreased dramatically as [research] migrated over to rhesus monkeys,” which more faithfully reproduce human HIV infections, Watson said.
At any given time, 20 percent of available chimps are being used in medical studies, Watson said.
One big reason for the drop: Drug companies are forgoing chimp studies. In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline announced it would no longer use any apes. Biotech giant Genentech also ended the practice, said Theresa Reynolds, director of drug safety assessment at the company. “With advances in technology, chimps are no longer necessary” for developing high-tech drugs called monoclonal antibodies, she said. Before the Institute of Medicine meeting, Reynolds informally polled executives at “six or eight” other biotech firms; none use chimps.
A major international effort to develop a malaria vaccine also eschews apes. “It has worked well to work in mice and then move to monkeys, not chimps,” said Ann-Marie Cruz, program officer at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
But chimp research still has its champions. The animals are vital for developing drugs and vaccines against hepatitis C, Purcell said; about 75 percent of ongoing chimp studies involve hepatitis C. The virus, which is carried by 3.2 million Americans and often causes liver cancer, infects no other lab animal.
“It’s also important to keep chimps available for diseases we haven’t seen yet, future ‘Hot Zone’ agents we can only speculate about,” Purcell said.
Many of the hepatitis studies take place at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. A scientist there, Robert Lanford, said that testing new drugs and vaccines in chimps “increases success in the clinic” by weeding out ineffective or unsafe candidates.
NIAID researcher Peter Collins pointed to chimps as the only species for testing vaccines against respiratory syncytial virus, which infects infants and the elderly. Like hepatitis C, RSV does not infect rats or mice.
In the fictional laboratories depicted in the film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “humanized chimps” revolt. In real laboratories, though, it’s “humanized mice” that may set free the medical chimps.
These engineered rodents carry tiny human livers, which succumb to hepatitis C, said Alexander Ploss of Rockefeller University. Some versions of the mice also live with human immune systems, which render their infections more like those seen in people.
“We are more than halfway” to mice that could replace chimps in hepatitis studies, Ploss said. “Whether we have that mouse in two years, five years, 10 years . . . who knows?”
In directing the Institute of Medicine committee, NIH officials were explicit in their charge: They asked the committee to examine only the scientific value of chimp research. But Thursday, committee members made clear that ethical issues are also in play.
They arranged for Goodall — for decades the world’s most prominent chimp advocate — to speak from Britain.
“From their point of view, it’s like torture,” Goodall said of chimpanzees kept captive for developing new medicines. “They are in prison and have done nothing wrong.”
A short time later, Eugene Schiff, a hepatitis researcher at the University of Miami, said, “I’ve never worked with chimps, but just listening to Jane Goodall, I got a guilt trip.”
Humanity, it seems, is on a collective guilt trip. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” is a blockbuster. And in April, Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-Md.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) reintroduced the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would ban “invasive research” on great apes in the United States.
“We wouldn’t be having this meeting if ethics wasn’t an issue,” Frans de Waal told the IOM committee. The Emory University researcher, whose pioneering studies with captive chimpanzees have revealed their human-like empathy, continued, “We don’t have this kind of meeting about rats.”

© 2011 Washington Post

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photos and/or videos of your companion rat, mouse, guinea pig, ferret, rabbit, or beagle.

Dear NEAVS supporters,

We are looking to expand our video and photo library and we need your help!

We use rescued animals rather than stock photography for nearly all of our work… so if you have video/photos please send them to us today.

Specific animal videos/photos we are seeking include mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, beagles—the most commonly used lab animals. If you have a cat rescued from a lab or science teaching program, we welcome images of him/her as well.

Please follow the steps below (we regret that photos/videos submitted outside of the provided guidelines cannot be considered):

[A] To send a photo: Download and complete form; email form and photos to info@neavs.org with subject line: Companion Animal Photo.
Please be mindful of photo quality. Set your camera to its highest resolution (go to Image Mode, and select the highest number), which will likely be about 14mp for newer point-and-shoot cameras. File size 10mb and under will transfer to our email. Larger than 10mb please contact us for an alternate upload method.

[B] To send a video: Download and complete form; email form to info@neavs.org with subject line: Companion Animal Video, then mail CD ROM or DVD to NEAVS/COMPANION ANIMAL DVD, 333 WASHINGTON ST, STE 850, BOSTON, MA 02108.

We regret that we cannot use all photos/videos submitted. Our decisions are dependent upon certain criteria including actual image, quality of photo, and matching need. Submitted DVDs will not be returned unless accompanied by a postage-paid return-addressed padded envelope.

Thank you!

New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)
333 Washington Street, Suite 850, Boston, MA 02108
Copyright © 2011 NEAVS. All rights reserved.
Manage your email subscription. Current Member Sign-in. Tell-a-friend. Contact us. Donate. www.NEAVS.org

Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs

Op-Ed Contributor By ROSCOE G. BARTLETT
Publlihed: August 10, 2011 Washington, DC

BEFORE I was elected to Congress, I was a physiologist at the Navy’s School of Aviation Medicine. For our successful missions to transport men to the moon and return them safely to Earth, I invented a series of respiratory support devices, which we tested on primates, including Baker, a squirrel monkey. Before humans were rocketed into space, Baker was the first primate to survive a trip into space and back; Able, her counterpart on the flight, died from an allergic reaction to an anesthetic during a procedure shortly after the landing.

At the time, I believed such research was worth the pain inflicted on the animals. But in the years since, our understanding of its effect on primates, as well as alternatives to it, have made great strides, to the point where I no longer believe such experiments make sense — scientifically, financially or ethically. That’s why I have introduced bipartisan legislation to phase out invasive research on great apes in the United States.

Today is the start of a two-day public hearing convened by the Institute of Medicine, which is examining whether there is still a need for invasive chimpanzee research. Meanwhile, nine countries, as well as the European Union, already forbid or restrict invasive research on great apes. Americans have to decide if the benefits to humans of research using chimpanzees outweigh the ethical, financial and scientific costs.

The evidence is mounting that they do not. For one thing, many new techniques are cheaper, faster and more effective, including computer modeling and the testing of very small doses on human volunteers. In vitro methods now grow human cells and tissues for human biomedical studies, bypassing the need for whole animals.

Such advances have led to a drop in primate research. Many federally owned chimpanzees were bred to support AIDS research, but later proved inferior to more modern technologies. As a result, most of the 500 federally owned chimpanzees are idling in warehouses. Ending chimpanzee research and retiring the animals to sanctuaries would save taxpayers about $30 million a year.

We also know more about the consequences of invasive research on the animals themselves. Biomedical procedures that are simple when performed on humans often require traumatizing restraint of chimpanzees to protect human researchers from injury, as chimpanzees are five times stronger than humans. For instance, acquiring a blood sample from a chimp can require a “knockdown,” or shooting it with a tranquilizer gun. If you’ve seen video of a knockdown, you know it is clearly frightening and stressful.

Moreover, even the mere confinement in laboratory cages deprives chimpanzees of basic physical, social and emotional sustenance. Numerous peer-reviewed studies of chimpanzees in sanctuaries who had previously been confined in laboratories have documented behavioral symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Chronic and traumatic stress harms chimpanzees’ health and compromises the results of experiments conducted on them.

There is no question that chimpanzees experience pain, stress and social isolation in ways strikingly similar to the way humans do. James Marsh’s recent documentary, “Project Nim,” chronicles the 27-year life of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was the subject of a controversial research project that involved raising him as though he were a human. Nim was taught sign language — and he used those signs to tell his human interlocutors that he was traumatized by his living conditions.

Nim isn’t alone. In his book “Next of Kin,” Dr. Roger S. Fouts recounted his reunion with a chimp named Booee. After 13 years of separation, and after Booee was deliberately infected with hepatitis C, Booee recognized, signed and played with Dr. Fouts, to whom he had given the signed nickname of “Rodg.” Other visitors reported that Booee used the American Sign Language gesture for “keys,” indicating that he wanted to get out of his cage.

Stories like these, as well as my understanding of the state of biomedical research, persuaded me to sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act with Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington. The bill would phase out invasive research on great apes and retire the 500 federally owned chimpanzees from laboratories to sanctuaries.

Continuing innovations in alternatives to the use of invasive research on great apes is the civilized way forward in the 21st century. Past civilizations were measured by how they treated their elderly and disabled. I believe that we will be measured, in part, by how we treat animals, particularly great apes.

Americans can no longer justify confining these magnificent and innocent animals to traumatic invasive research and life imprisonment.

Roscoe G. Bartlett is a Republican representative from Maryland.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 11, 2011, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: Stop Using Chimps as Guinea Pigs.

Lauren Silverman Simon
Federal Legislative Specialist, Government Affairs

t 202.955.3675 f 202.676.2302

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street NW Washington, DC 20037

Join Our Email List Facebook Twitter

Description: The Humane Society of the United States - Celebrating Animals | Confronting Cruelty

Monday, August 8, 2011

Project Nim in theaters now

As of August 5th, Project Nim is now playing in theaters across Quebec. It is playing at the AMC in Montreal and is a must see documentary. Many of the Fauna Chimpanzees have endured some of the same trials and tribulations as Nim. We owe it all the chimpanzees around the world that are still and will continue to be put through the same ordeal. Take the time!

Click below for the official trailer:


Monday, August 1, 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..
Tanya McAleer, Christine McMahon, Lynda & Willie Donelle, Stephane LePage&Richard Lipman

CWU professors, chimp experts retire

Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 1:30 pm | Updated: 1:23 pm, Tue Jun 21, 2011.

ELLENSBURG — After more than 30 years at Central Washington University and more than 45 years of working with chimpanzees, Roger and Debbie Fouts retired from their positions at CWU this month.

But retirement for the Foutses is not as simple as turning in the key to the office. To a certain degree, it’s not retirement at all.

“Life with chimpanzees is not a job,” Roger said.

“We’ll be more like grandparents,” Debbie said. “We’ll see them from time to time, but I won’t be going every morning to greet them.”

Click on the following link for the full story : http://dailyrecordnews.com/top_story/cwu-professors-chimp-experts-retire/article_a5759516-9c2e-11e0-84ca-001cc4c03286.html

About Roger Fouts :http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/fouts.htm#Bibliography