Watch Nightline Tonight!

March 4th, 2009 by Sarah

Please be sure to tune in to Nightline tonight for a very important story about how chimpanzees are treated in laboratories. I just previewed some of the footage and it’s heartbreaking. Knowing Jamie, Burrito, Foxie, Negra, Annie, Missy and Jody were in similar facilities… There are no words!

16 Responses to “Watch Nightline Tonight!”

  1. Shelly Knapp says:

    Sarah, thanks for this post….I just came to the CSNW site to post the same info. I plan to watch tonight – I’m so hopeful that the segment tells people to contact their senators and congressmen – and to go to NEAVS R&R web site – and support chimpanzee sanctuaries like CSNW!

  2. Amy M. says:

    It’s so hard to watch but so important for this to come to light.

  3. Jill says:

    I received emails from the Humane Society and Release and Resitution about this segment. I also posted the info on my facebook profile and emailed a number of people. Hopefully, lots of people will watch and be moved to action.

    Last Friday I attended a conference on animal cruelty and one of the speakers was a primatologist and PhD talking about ethics in research. I don’t have her name with me (its at home, I’m at work), but she was talking about the need for these issues to be out there. She has done a study on the emotional and physcial toll research has taken on primates used in research (PTSD, depression, fatigue, repetitive behaviors, self-mutilation). She strongly believes it is time (and has been for some time) to make provisions to release all primates in labs and make provisions for not just their physical recovery, but their emotional recovery as well. Of course I already knew most of the stuff she was talking about, but I could tell that there were those in the audience that hadn’t really thought about animal cruelty beyond cats, dogs, horses, etc. (basically domesticated animals.) I truly believe the tide may finally be changing.

  4. Amy M. says:

    I hope this won’t come out the wrong way, but this is fabulous. I have Google alerts set up for chimpanzee and chimpanzee sanctuary and this story is EVERYWHERE. I hope it will bring greater scrutiny of how the USDA abdicates its responsibility to enforce the Animal Welfare Act in general. I’ve been attending the Ringling trial (over its treatment of elephants), so all of this couldn’t be more timely.

  5. Theresa says:

    I sincerely hope this story will catch the attention of the powers that be and something can be done. The chimps in labs belong in sanctuaries where they can recover from the physical and emotional trauma they have endured. It’s going to be an emotional report but necessary to make people aware of the truth.

  6. Sara Lissabet says:

    I also posted the HSUS link/promo of the story on my Facebook page. In addition, I’ve been posting my own notes on Meet the Cle Elum Seven, with some info about each of the chimps on a weekly basis (I just started, I’ve covered Foxie and Jamie). I’m hoping my “friends” who have seen these updates might be inspired to check it out and become more aware.

    The article I read was disturbing enough. On the one hand the problem is that so many people are treating chimps like humans because they are so close in behaviors to us (so they keep them as “pets”), and on the other hand the chimps are not getting enough respect since they are so close to humans – knowing of their mistreatment makes me think of the way slaves have been treated throughout history – a commodity, with little thought to their psychological or physical welfare.

    I think people are beginning to wake up, though, and the HSUS has done alot to expose cruelty (puppy mills, industrial feed lots, animal fighting) to influence some good laws to come on the books. I hope this is as successful for the chimps as their other efforts.

  7. Wanda Perry says:

    I just watched the undercover video, I am so angry. I feel helpless to know that these poor primates and monkeys have to live in this purgatory.
    They are going to do an investigation, I hope it isn’t a repeat of all the other investigations that have been done. I can not believe these people that are supposed to be professionals are hitting the poor monkeys. No animal should ever have to go through this kind of abuse and neglect.
    It was hard to watch, it just tears my heart up, that these animals have to endure a lifetime of pain and suffering. I am so upset I will never sleep tonight……

  8. Sara Lissabet says:

    I also did not sleep well last night. At one time, in the recent past, I understood the need for the use of animals in medical research, but never like this! Human behavior like this is inexcusable! You cannot use the reason that “many human lives were saved” to justify *that* kind of treatment. These animals ought to be revered and treated compassionately for for the sacrifices they are making for the human race. I am thankful the HSUS undercover agent tried to show some compassion for the primates. I haven’t favored the use of primates in medical research for awhile – I hope this turns more people away from the idea and opens up the possibility of new forms of research that doesn’t include the use of primates.

  9. Shelly Knapp says:

    The Great Ape Protection Act was re-introduced in the House of Representatives today, on the heels of the Humane Society’s undercover investigation. This legislation would phase out invasive research on the more than 1,000 chimpanzees remaining in U.S. laboratories, and lay the groundwork for permanent retirement of the approximately 500 chimpanzees owned by the federal government, including Karen and other chimps at the New Iberia Research Center.

    TAKE ACTION – call your representative today! In Washington State:
    Please make a brief phone call to Representative Larsen at (202) 225-2605. When you call, you’ll likely speak to a staff member who can take your message. Remember to be polite and professional, and leave your name and where you live so it’s clear that you are a constituent. When you call, you can say:

    “Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m a constituent in [your town]. Last night, ABC News: Nightline aired a report of chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana. I’m calling to ask Representative Larsen to please co-sponsor the Towns-Reichert Great Ape Protection Act, to stop this cruelty and to save taxpayers millions of dollars. Thank you.”

    We expect that Congress will receive a huge outpour of calls on this issue. If you aren’t able to get through, please keep trying. After you make your call, send a follow up message and tell your friends and family how they can help, too.

    This is an excerpt from an email I received from HSUS today – thanks so much everyone!

  10. Jeani Goodrich says:

    Thank you Shelly. I just called and gave a message to one of the staff. He was very nice and said that Rep Larsen had voted for the bill to make it illegal to buy chimps across state lines. He was curious as to why so many people were calling today so I told him about Nightline, encouraged him to check it out online, and also gave him CSNW’s website for more information regarding sanctuaries. Here’s to another bill getting passed!!!

  11. Michelle Coburn says:

    This whole issue is so saddening to me, I’ve been crying all afternoon thinking about it. I said a prayer to ask God or the powers that be to please PLEASE give someone who has the power to make a change do what they need to make this STOP once and for all! It is unbelievable that in our society in these times this can still be happening. If I had the resources, I would do what Keith did, and get those animals out of there. I feel so helpless. So glad that Jeani called and found out that people in Washington are getting calls and letters about this deplorable place. God help us all do what we can to make a difference for these innocent creatures. I too sent a letter through the HSUS site to my senators about the bill, which hopefully the Senate will pass their own version, or one that has more teeth in it.

  12. Shelly Knapp says:

    Michelle Coburn ~ please know that every single thing you do, does help – even though we can feel helpless at times, we are the opposite of helpless. We are empowered with our voices and actions. It takes all every single one of us, together, to make change happen. No deed is too small – positive thoughts and prayers even help. Sending your letter helped. Blogging here helps. Talking with your friends, family and colleagues helps. Learning more about alternative technologies to testing helps. Learning more about which products to buy that are not tested on animals helps – everything from cleaning products to cosmetics. Staying involved helps. We simply must be persistent, vocal and active. Bless you, for caring so deeply :-)

  13. ElizabethC says:

    About 8 years ago I was living down in Louisiana (I have recently relocated to Bainbridge Island and hope to be able to start volunteering at CSNW soon). I was semi-retired, and one day on a whim I responded to an ad in the paper for a job opening at the New Iberia Research Center. It was minimum wage, working in the enrichment department. Dr Babette Fontenot, the head of that department, took me on a tour of the facility (a huge former military base, hidden way out the middle of nowhere, with no signs or anything to indicate what it is until you get inside the security perimeter).

    For a couple of hours we rode around in a little golf cart, and she explained the legally mandated enrichment program to me. The day I was there, the enrichment staff were working in the chimp nursery painting a bright cheerful jungle mural on the walls, and everybody, human and non-human alike, seemed happy. Everything I saw from the golf cart looked wonderful, and in spite of the low pay, brutal weather, and long commute, I really thought I would love working there.

    But even though I was qualified, enthusiastic, and she seemed to like me, Dr. Fontenot refused to hire me. I even reapplied for the job the next time an ad appeared in the paper, but she never called back. Later I heard from a mutual acquaintance that the reason she wouldn’t hire me was because I had recently moved to Louisiana from Berkeley, and because I was “over qualified” to work for $6/hr., she suspected that I was an undercover animal rights activist planted there to spy or infiltrate or somehow act as a “terrorist.” I wasn’t, I just really passionately wanted to provide enrichment and paint murals and hang out with apes and take care of infant chimps! Who wouldn’t? I honestly couldn’t understand why she was so paranoid, especially if they were following all the laws as she claimed, and had nothing to hide anyway.

    Now I wonder if, even though she maybe knew I wasn’t an official activist spy, she figured I probably would have been appalled at what I would see once I worked inside, and being a freelance writer, I probably would have made trouble. Damn right I would have.

    Needless to say, I’m extremely curious to see what happens with this case.

  14. Shelly Knapp says:

    Wow, Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your experience.

  15. Jill says:

    I ditto what Shelly said.

    Michelle – Shelly’s right. Our individual actions may seem small to us, but collectively we are a group advocating and being vocal (and respectful) and that is very powerful.

    ElizabethC – yes, thank you for sharing your experience with us and welcome to the Northwest :)

  16. Michelle Coburn says:

    Thank you Jill and Shelly for your supportive comments. I am happy to be part of a group of people who want to make such an important difference in our world.

    I hope we can continue to find others to join our cause, like Elizabeth, who obviously has a kindred love of creatures who have been forced into cruelty and abuse and so desperately need our voices. I hope CSNW continues to provide us not only with exposure to these types of abuses but also what we can DO about it to help bring about change.

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