07 May 2012

Bill Maher speaks up for chimps: Asks Congress to pass Great Ape Protection Act

Bill Maher, television host and comedian, is speaking out to end experimentation on chimpanzees in the United States.

Continuing to keep chimpanzees in labs has transcended its existing inhumanity to exceptional cruelty by being deemed unnecessary on many levels - financially, ethically and scientifically. The United States is the only country in the world that still uses chimpanzees in large scale invasive testing.

Scientists even recognize that results from chimpanzee testing is not directly relevant to the effects on humans, especially as technological advances provide more ways to test directly on human cells.

Using his voice for good, Maher wrote to Senator Harry Reid requesting he join the over 175 co-sponsors to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.
“Nearly 1,000 chimpanzees are locked in laboratory cages across our nation right now—many are elderly and have spent decades trapped behind bars. Most aren’t even being used in active protocols, because researchers have moved away from chimpanzee experiments after realizing how futile they are for predicting how treatments will affect human health,” wrote Maher. “The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would release federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, allowing them to spend their final years in peace.” 
This Act would phase out the use of chimpanzees in laboratory testing, release the hundreds of chimps to sanctuaries and prevent future breeding of the primates for use in testing.  The senate held a hearing on the bill in April.  Experts attested to the lack of necessity in the use of chimpanzees in biomedical testing, and encourage change in policy as well.

To join Bill Maher, members of the Senate, and a multitude of others in gaining momentum to pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, write to Congress and let them know what you think.

Amanda Chary
Vermont Amanda's dream is to one day tend a sustainable garden, take care of pigs, and edit novels in the desert, or at least somewhere much warmer. She likes to read, doodle, watch movies, sing (poorly), take in sunshine and goof off. All things robot, squid or whimsical are of interest.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/shankbone David Shankbone