As you may have heard last week, thanks to all the public support for the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee favorably approved the bill (S. 810). This is a huge step forward, but we aren’t done yet! Though GAPCSA has been approved by the committee, it has not passed in the Senate—yet. With your support, we can move even farther ahead in helping release chimpanzees from invasive biomedical research. Visit Project Release & Restitution’s website to find details on how to keep the ball rolling.
Archive for the ‘Alerts’ Category
Primate Patrol is CSNW’s advocacy program. Our goal is to provide the public with information on the plight of primates exploited in media, and alert subscribers to current issues with the use of primates in TV shows, movies, and advertisements. Sarah went undercover into a training facility in Hollywood and witnessed the trainers routinely abusing the chimpanzees. In addition to the welfare concerns with using primates in media, we also have to think in the long-term—where are they going to be sent once they are too big or too hard to handle? To learn more about these issues, check out Primate Patrol and sign up to receive alerts in your inbox. You can also Like us on Facebook!
Today I sent out the following alert, about a new movie premiering on June 15th:
Rock of Ages, a new film musical scheduled to premiere in June, stars a lot of famous human actors – and a baboon. Tom Cruise, one of the stars, stated in an interview that he requested to work with a monkey. When asked about preparing for his character, Cruise said that he thought one day “You know what? I need a monkey.” When asked to elaborate he stated, “When Stacee [Cruise’s character] is not onstage, he’s kind of sad. And I thought, ‘this guy has to have a monkey that’s his best friend.’ Adam [Rock of Ages’ director] found this baboon. He sent me the baboon’s audition tape, and I said, ‘the baboon’s name has to be Hey Man.’ Stacee Jaxx doesn’t work without Hey Man.” The baboon, Mickey, was also recently on the show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. He was seen exhibiting abnormal behaviors and a fear grimace.
Please avoid contributing to the box office receipts for Rock of Ages – don’t go see it! Please spread the word to your friends and encourage them to boycott this movie with you. Let them know that monkeys should not be used in TV and film media, including the reasons listed above. Thank you for speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves!
If you have Twitter, go ahead and tweet that you won’t be seeing Rock of Ages because of the baboon actor. Example tweets:
Join me – don’t go see @rockofagesmovie because of their baboon “actor.”
Stand against abuse of nonhuman primates. Don’t go see @rockofagesmovie! Please RT!
RT Please! Join @PrimatePatrol and don’t support @rockofagesmovie when it premieres June 15th.
One week from today the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Use of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research will release its report, “Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity.”
They are hosting a public hearing on Thursday December 15, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. If you’re in D.C. you can register to attend this hearing. They are also allowing the public to listen to the briefing from home and will make their written report available for downloading that day.
Please visit this link for more information including the call in number and access code to hear the briefing.
For more background, read:
Chimpanzee research on trial before blue-ribbon panel from Nature.com
NEAVS Helps Tip Scales on IOM Chimp Study from Project R&R
Ban Chimp Testing: Why it is time to end invasive biomedical research on chimpanzees from Scientific American
Here’s the title and description of the article from Glamour: (p. 211) She’s a Hero to Animals: One woman’s undercover work to expose the shocking abuse of show business chimps.
And here’s a photo of Sarah getting prepped for the photo shoot back in December:
Join Primate Patrol: www.primatepatrol.org/join
Capital One exploits chimpanzees (again!)
Primate Patrol has received the disappointing news that Capital One is currently running a commercial featuring a young chimpanzee “actor.” This is NOT the first time Capital One has had a chimpanzee in their advertising. Despite a growing public awareness about the ethical problems with using chimpanzee “actors” in entertainment, Capital One still chose to make another chimpanzee commercial.
Please send a polite letter to Capital One asking them not to air this commercial. Your letters can make a difference – just this year, two large companies, Dodge and Pfizer, chose to alter their commercials that featured live ape “actors” and pledged to never use primates in advertising again after hearing from concerned advocates.
Let them know that chimpanzees cannot be trained for entertainment by positive reinforcement alone, and brutal training practices in the entertainment industry are well documented. Remind them that in addition to welfare concerns, using chimpanzees in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts of free-living chimpanzees.
You may send your letter to the CEO of Capital One, Richard Fairbank at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also view this alert on PETA’s action webpage.
Sample Letter to Capital One:
Dear Mr. Fairbank:
I was extremely disappointed to hear that Capital One has chosen to air a commercial featuring a young chimpanzee. You should know that great apes used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.
Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? You are exploiting chimpanzees for your own profits and this is an unacceptable business practice.
Please make the compassionate decision to remove the commercial from the air, and please consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.
[Your name here]
[Your city & state]
If you send an e-mail to Capital One, please remember to BCC Primate Patrol at PrimatePatrol@ChimpSanctuaryNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!
My family lives in New Mexico and my very sharp and active 89-year-old grandmother, who is a supporter of the Cle Elum Seven, sent me word of this great news this morning.
(for background information about the Alamogordo chimpanzees, visit: http://retirethechimps.org/)
Here’s the beginning of a story that the Albuquerque Journal published today:
By Rene Romo
Copyright © 2010 Albuquerque Journal
Journal Southern Bureau
LAS CRUCES — The nearly 200 chimps housed at a federal facility in Alamogordo have won a temporary reprieve from being transferred to another site, where they were to become test subjects, according to the Governor’s Office.
In a phone call received late Thursday afternoon, an official with the National Institutes of Health informed Gov. Bill Richardson that the chimps will not be transferred until the National Academy of Sciences completes a review of policies related to the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, according to a governor’s spokeswoman.
The review is expected to postpone the chimp transfer for about two years, said Richardson spokesman Alarie Ray-Garcia.
“Until the study is completed, there will be no transfer of the chimps,” Ray-Garcia said.
Today, Jody’s son Levi turns 27. He has been a research subject his entire life. The note in Jody’s file for this day twenty-seven years ago simply says, “Delivered healthy infant male #88 – removed & taken to nursery.” If she got a glimpse of Levi that day, it was probably the last time Jody saw her son.
Six weeks later, an adult male chimpanzee was transferred into Jody’s cage in the hopes of “breeding” her again.
Levi was among the unlucky group of chimpanzees who have already been moved from the Alamogordo Primate Facility to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Also, for Jody and Levi, please support the Great Ape Protection Act, which would permanently retire all chimpanzees currently supported by the federal government and would ban the use of great apes in invasive biomedical research. Visit the HSUS TAKE ACTION link to contact your reps.
For inspiration, watch 10-year-old Brandon Wood’s video below. Brandon is one of the most active chimpanzee advocates out there. The dedication of someone so young is remarkable. You can follow Brandon through his blog, his Facebook page or on Twitter. Visit his sites and thank him for working so hard for chimpanzees.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a hero for chimpanzees. Two days ago he filed a complaint with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate the transfer of the remaining 186 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF). Since then he has been busy with press conferences and interviews with the media about this complaint, which is supported by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and Animal Protection of New Mexico.
The complaint asks the USDA to investigate whether transferring the chimpanzees from APF to a biomedical research laboratory in Texas violates the Animal Welfare Act, which prohibits the transportation of ill, injured or physically distressed primates. Many of the chimpanzees, such as Flo (53 years old), are elderly and suffer from chronic diseases as a result of their age and their history as biomedical research subjects.
Thanks to Freedom of Information requests from PCRM, we now know that Foxie’s mother, Winny, is among the chimpanzees living at APF who faces transfer to Texas. Winny’s birthdate is listed as 1/1/1962. She is almost 49 years old.
Foxie’s son David, Negra’s daughter, Heidi, and Jody’s daughter April also face transfer. Jody’s son Levi has already been moved.
(For the complaint that PCRM filed in September that includes information on the chimpanzees at APF, click here).
For how to help, visit RetireTheChimps.org
Primate Patrol is an advocacy branch of CSNW that is dedicated to ending the exploitation of great apes in entertainment. If you are not already signed up for Primate Patrol action alerts, sign up here: www.primatepatrol.org/join and be sure to like the Primate Patrol Facebook page.
Volunteer Debbie has been busy this summer and fall sending out alerts to the list, and we’ve seen positive results. Combined with other organizations and activists, we’ve reached Dodge, Whatcom Educational Credit Union, and now Pfizer.
At the end of this post is the alert about Pfizer’s decision to change their recent ad for Robitussin that featured an orangutan. The orangutan, Suryia, is owned by a facility called The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.). You’ve probably seen photos and videos of Suryia with a dog along with a story about their “friendship.” Photos of a young chimpanzee pictured with a baby white tiger that have circulated widely are also from T.I.G.E.R.S.
T.I.G.E.R.S. is a confusing organization. They claim to work for conservation, yet they train the animals in their care to perform and regularly exploit them for all sorts of entertainment purposes. They breed animals and pride themselves on putting on live shows with exotic animals, including ligers, which are a hybrid species not seen in the wild. They allow visitors to get up close and personal and “cuddle” with potentially dangerous animals, which we all know is a recipe for disaster and not in the best interest of the animals. For film use they offer that if they don’t own a particular species of animal, they “can find it.” T.I.G.E.R.S. in the business of exploiting exotic animals for profit, and Pfizer was apparently able to see this after being contacted by great ape activists.
The altered ad that Pfizer released could still be considered problematic. The human actor/computer generated chimpanzee that replaced Suyria the orangutan is actually quite good, and people may not realize he is not a real chimpanzee, so the message of great apes being funny creatures to laugh at is still present in the ad. However, Pfizer has agreed to never again use primates in advertising and they have gone to some expense to “walk their talk” by changing the commercial. They have shown that computer animation is as good if not better than using great ape actors, and they explain on the ad on their website that the chimpanzee is a “human actor enhanced by digital effects.”
Personally, I have always drawn inspiration from activist Henry Spira, and I count Peter Singer’s book Ethics into Action as one of my favorites. I believe that this move by corporations like Dodge and Pfizer and Bodum to use computer generated great apes or other marketing techniques, even if those apes are depicted as silly, is what Spira called “moving the peanut forward.”
We welcome your views on the ad and this new move towards computer animation.
Here’s the Primate Patrol action alert that was sent out yesterday:
November 8, 2010
As many of you may know, Robitussin recently aired two commercials starring Suryia, a young orangutan “actor.” Pfizer, Robitussin’s parent company, listened to great ape advocates regarding the treatment of apes in entertainment. The company chose to remove the scenes featuring Suryia and instead replace him with a computer-generated chimpanzee.
Thank you to all our supporters that contacted Pfizer with their concerns about this marketing campaign! Go here to see Pfizer’s new and progressive commercial. Click on the video link on the right of the page.
The CGI in the new commercial shows that live apes do not need to be exploited for entertainment purposes. Pfizer has made the compassionate pledge to never exploit primates in any of their commercials again.
You may remember that earlier this year Dodge chose to alter a commercial with a chimpanzee “actor” as well. Using alternative marketing images rather than live animals is a growing trend in the advertising community, and we hope that Pfizer has helped set an example for other corporations.
This development would not have been accomplished without a growing public awareness of the inherent cruelty involved in using apes for entertainment purposes. We want to thank you for your involvement in this movement – your efforts are essential in creating a voice for abused and exploited apes. Please share this exciting news with your friends, and continue to spread the word about the issues surrounding primates in entertainment. You can make a difference!
Also take a look at PETA’s press release regarding this campaign.