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Great ape research ban

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A great ape research ban, or severe restrictions on the use of great apes in research, is currently in place in the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany[1] and Austria. These countries have ruled that chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans are cognitively so similar to humans that using them as test subjects is unethical. Austria is the only country in the world where experiments on lesser apes, the gibbons, are completely banned too.[citation needed]

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10 Most Illegal Pets In The US. Number 10, Bats. Some species of bats are federally protected animals, which means it's illegal to kill them even when they wind up inside. If you've always dreamed of having your own bat cave or working on your echolocation skills, it's going to be tough to do in the United States. Those same federal protections also make it illegal to capture wild bats for domestication. Transporting bats within the U.S. requires a permit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even so, travel is restricted to a legitimate sanctuary, scientific organization, and/or a registered establishment for educational programming. In other words, the U.S. makes it very difficult to get a bat as a pet. If you're seriously batty for these creatures, keep this in mind: Bats can live up to 25 years. But that life expectancy shrinks to just one year or less if they're in captivity. Number 9, Alligators. In most states, alligators are best left for the golf courses and wild marshes, not your backyard. FindLaw reports you can't own alligators without at least a permit (or at all) in many states. If you are able to own an alligator, you must provide an enclosure that keeps the animal in and potential intruders out. You also need to take full liability for owning such a creature. Number 8, Big Cats. Simba and Mufasa were fun to watch as kids, but owning your own lion, or tiger, or leopard, is pretty difficult to achieve when you live in the U.S. Twenty-one states in the U.S. ban all dangerous exotic pets, and big cats certainly fall into that category. The previously mentioned five states don't require a permit and will generally allow big cat ownership, and some states like Pennsylvania, Texas, and Montana allow it if the person obtains a permit. Other states like Florida refer to big cats and other large animals as Class I Wildlife, meaning they pose a serious danger to humans. These animals cannot be owned legally for private use, but a permit can be obtained for commercial purposes. Number 7, Monkeys. Owning a primate is tricky in the U.S., while some states may allow it, most do not. Interestingly, The Guardian says about 4,500 primates are privately owned in the U.K., and this includes apes, lemurs, and bush babies. Some of these are owned by trained professionals, but most are owned by pet owners, as it's technically legal to have one in the U.K. If you're dying to have a marmoset on your shoulder in the U.S., we heavily advise against it. While certain states like the Carolinas, Georgia, Kansas, and Oklahoma don't have laws to prevent primate ownership, Business Insider says most other states either prohibit it or will only allow you to own them with a special permit. It's best to leave the monkeys at the zoo. Number 6, Penguins. Many believe penguins need the arctic temperatures to survive, but that's not the case, many breeds are happy to live in milder climates. That doesn't mean you should trade in your parakeet for a penguin, though. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment explains all 18 species of penguins are currently protected. Even if you do have a permit to interfere with penguins and their eggs in the wild, the specimen must be reported to and approved by the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. There's also an international treaty designed to regulate the trade of certain wildlife species, and penguins are on this list. There are a few species of penguins, like the African and Galapagos, that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Because penguins are so carefully protected, there's no way you'll be able to own one in the states as a pet. Number 5, Slow lorises. Slow lorises are native to Northeast India and Southeast Asia, and though you can purchase them in other countries like Russia and Japan, PetHelpful says it's illegal to export them. Even if you were to acquire a slow loris, it's unethical to do so, they're taken directly from the wild, transported in horrible conditions, and often have their back teeth painfully removed. It's unlikely you'll even see slow lorises in zoos, at least anywhere in North America, as they're not easy to breed or take care of. You may see sweet videos of them on the internet, but keep in mind those owners likely do not live in the states. Number 4, Skunks. You might think anyone willing to have a skunk in their home has gone off the deep end, but plenty of people in the U.S. think they make wonderful pets. Even when you have the scent glands surgically removed, there's no guarantee you'll be allowed to own one. "Skunks should be considered illegal until verified otherwise," PetHelpful concludes. According to a 2008 report from PBS, only 17 states allowed the people to own skunks as pets, though that number might have fluctuated since. Keep in mind that cities and municipalities might also have their own rules about pet ownership, so check with your local government before deciding that a skunk can take up residence in your home. Number 3, Sugar gliders. A cute, nocturnal relative of the flying squirrel, sugar gliders are illegal to own as pets in several states. This could be because of the large, aviary-like space they require or it could be because of the noise they generate. Whatever the reasons, they're illegal in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Utah. Additionally, states like Pennsylvania require a permit to keep a sugar glider, PetHelpful reports. California, which is also known for its strict pet-ownership laws, believes sugar gliders could be a threat to natural ecosystems, and bans the animal completely. Number 2, Hedgehogs. They're tiny, spiky balls of fun, but not every state is keen on allowing hedgehogs. Surprisingly, these little bundles of quills are controversial. Some say their nocturnal nature means they're unsuitable for human entertainment and companionship, while others think they make great pets. Hedgehogs are outlawed in New York City and some other municipalities, along with California, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, and Maine. Hedgehog Central, an advocacy site for the enjoyment of these creatures, also reports Pennsylvania forbids private ownership. Number 1, Fennec foxes. If you've never heard of a fennec fox before, you'll definitely want one after seeing photos of their huge ears and small, furry bodies. According to the San Diego Zoo, this breed of fox is the smallest of them all, which seems to make them desirable to those longing for an exotic house pet. While some states may technically allow them, they're often sold illegally, which can result in habitat loss in their native Sahara and North Africa. Fennec foxes are allowed in a surprising number of states, and they're relatively common as far as exotic pets go. Still, according to Born Free USA, some states are much stricter about owning any type of exotic animal.


New Zealand

New Zealand granted strong protections to all the great ape species in 1999, but these protections have not been explicitly recognized as rights. The use of great apes is now forbidden in research, testing or teaching.[2]

United States

The United States is the world's largest user of chimpanzees for biomedical research, with approximately 1,200 individual subjects currently in U.S. labs.[3] On December 15, 2011, the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) declared in a report[4]) that ‘most current use of chimpanzees for biomedical research is unnecessary,’ and recommended to curtail government-funded research on humans' closest relative.[5] On the same day Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced that he had accepted the recommendations and will develop an implementation plan which includes the formation of an expert committee to review all submitted grant applications and projects already underway involving the use of chimpanzees.[6] Furthermore, no new grant applications using chimpanzees will be reviewed until further notice.[5][6] On 21 September 2012, the NIH announced that 110 chimpanzees owned by the government will be retired. The NIH owns about 500 chimpanzees for research, and this move signifies the first step to wind down its investment in chimpanzee research, according to Collins. Currently housed at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, 10 of the retired chimpanzees will go to the chimpanzee sanctuary Chimp Haven while the rest will go to Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio.[7] However, concerns over the chimpanzees' status in the Texas Biomedical Research Institute as ‘research ineligible’ rather than ‘retired’ prompted the NIH to reconsider the plan. On 17 October 2012 it announced that as many chimpanzees as possible will be relocated to Chimp Haven by August 2013, and that eventually all 110 will move there.[8]

On 22 January 2013, an NIH task force released a report calling for the government to retire most of the chimpanzees under U.S. government support. The panel concluded that the animals provide little benefit in biomedical discoveries except in a few disease cases which can be supported by a small population of 50 primates for future research. It suggested that other approaches, such as genetically altered mice, should be developed and refined instead.[9][10] On 13 November 2013, Congress and the Senate passed ‘The Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection Act’, which approved funding to expand the capacity of Chimp Haven and other chimpanzee sanctuaries, allowing for the transfer of almost all of the apes owned by the federal government to live in a more natural and group environment. The transfer is expected to take up to five years, at which point all but 50 chimpanzees will have been successfully ‘retired’.[11]

On 11 June 2013, the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list captive chimpanzees as endangered, matching its existing classification for wild chimpanzees. Until the Fish and Wildlife proposal, chimpanzees were the only species with a split listing that did not also classify captive members of the species as endangered.[12] If the proposal gains final approval, it is unclear what effect it would have on laboratory research.[12]

Two years later, on 12 June 2015, the USFWS completed the proposal and listed all chimpanzees, captive and wild, as endangered.[13]

In January 2014, Merck & Co. announced that the company will not use chimpanzees for research, joining over 20 pharmaceutical companies and contract laboratories that have made the commitment. As the trend continues, it is estimated the remaining non-government owned 1,000 chimpanzees will be retired to sanctuaries around 2020.[14][15]

United Kingdom

Announcing the UK’s ban in 1986, the British Home Secretary said: "[T]his is a matter of morality. The cognitive and behavioural characteristics and qualities of these animals mean it is unethical to treat them as expendable for research." Britain continues to use other primates in laboratories, such as macaques and marmosets. In 2006 the permanency of the UK ban was questioned by Colin Blakemore, head of the Medical Research Council. Blakemore, while stressing he saw no "immediate need" to lift the ban, argued "that under certain circumstances, such as the emergence of a lethal pandemic virus that only affected the great apes, including man, then experiments on chimps, orang-utans and even gorillas may become necessary." The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection described Blakemore's stance as "backward-looking." [16][17][18]

On 7 February 2014 the UK Department of Health released a policy paper outlining the ‘3R’ (replacement, refinement and reduction) strategy to reduce animal testing in research and develop in biosciences. Using new non-animal technologies such as tissue engineering, stem cells, noninvasive imaging and mathematical modeling, the press release stated, the benefits will include not only improvement in animal welfare but also reduction in cost for the industry. The latter derives from the potentially higher successful rate using these cutting-edge technologies in early drug development while results from animal studies sometimes fail to duplicate in human.[19]


An 2013 amendment to the Animal Welfare Act with special regulations for monkeys results in the near total ban on the use of great apes as laboratory animals. [1] As of 2015, the last time great apes were used in laboratory experiments in Germany was 1991.[20][21]

See also


  1. ^ a b "BMEL - German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture - Improving animal welfare in Germany". Retrieved 2017-03-28. "One key element in this regard is the near total ban on the use of apes as laboratory animals." (more precisely great apes, according to the German version)
  3. ^ Federal Bill Introduced to End Invasive Research on Chimpanzees
  4. ^ "Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity". Institute of Medicine. December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Wadman, Meredity (December 16, 2011). "US Chimpanzee Research to be Curtailed". Retrieved December 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Statement by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on the Institute of Medicine report addressing the scientific need for the use of chimpanzees in research". National Institutes of Health. December 15, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ Greenfieldboyce, Nell (21 September 2012). "Government Officials Retire Chimpanzees From Research". NPR. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Lisa Myers; Diane Beasley (17 October 2012). "Goodall praises NIH decision to remove some chimps from research, but controversy erupts over their next home". Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Flinn, Ryan (23 January 2013). "U.S. Panel Calls for Limits on Medical Use of Chimpanzees". Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Supported Research (22 January 2013). "Council of Councils Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research Report" (PDF). NIH. 
  11. ^ Dizard, Wilson (15 November 2013). "Federal government to transfer laboratory chimps to sanctuaries". Aljazeera America. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Fears, Darryl (11 June 2013). "Fish and Wildlife proposes endangered listing for captive chimpanzees". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  13. ^ Kauffman, Vanessa (12 June 2015). "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Finalizes Rule Listing All Chimpanzees as Endangered Under the Endangered Species Act". Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  14. ^ The Associated Press (30 January 2014). "Merck joins other drugmakers, contract research labs vowing not to do research on chimpanzees". Associated Press. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Press Release (30 January 2014). "Top Pharmaceutical Company Stops Chimpanzee Use in Research". The Humane Society of the United States. Retrieved 20 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Steve Connor (June 3, 2006). "Scientists 'should be allowed to test on apes'". The Independent. 
  17. ^ "Ban all experiments on the higher primates". The Independent. March 28, 2001. 
  18. ^ Helene Guldberg (March 29, 2001). "The great ape debate". Spiked online. 
  19. ^ Mullin, Emily (10 February 2014). "U.K. pledges to reduce use of animals for bioscience research". Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  20. ^ Research on primates - Max Planck Institutes - Research on great apes is not permitted; it has not been performed in Germany since 1991.
  21. ^ German Ministry of Food and Agriculture - Use of laboratory animals 2015 (German)"Menschenaffen wurden in Deutschland zuletzt 1991 für wissenschaftliche Zwecke verwendet."

External links

This page was last edited on 1 September 2017, at 14:26.
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