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  • May
  • 9

Stop The Use of Great Apes in Painful, Invasive Experiments

Posted by at 5:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (31)

Stop The Use of Great Apes in Painful, Invasive Experiments by Guest BloggerA few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Phyllis, a longtime PETA supporter and animal activist. Phyllis wrote passionately about her efforts to protest for the release of Wenka, a chimpanzee born in a laboratory in 1954 who currently has the unfortunate distinction of being the oldest chimpanzee in a laboratory.

“She’ll be 55 on May 21st—a few weeks later, I’ll be 52,” Phyllis explained, “Although activists have asked that she be moved to a sanctuary, the lab claims that she is too frail to move. Too frail to leave a concrete prison? To go to a sanctuary where she would be treated with love and respect instead of contempt and neglect? Before she dies, she could feel sunshine, breathe fresh air, or simply watch the leaves blowing in the wind.”

Wenka is only one of more than 1,200 chimpanzees still held hostage in laboratories in the U.S. “A living nightmare” is the only way to describe the lives of chimpanzees who are still in laboratories in North America. They are injected with drugs and infected with diseases that they would never normally contract, and they are subjected to painful, invasive experiments. When they’re not strapped to a table, they live in tiny cages with nothing to distract them from constant trauma, fear, and loneliness. They have been denied meaningful relationships with others of their own kind and the power to control any aspect of their own lives. It’s little wonder that they frequently show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to scientists who have observed chimpanzees forced to spend decades in cages no bigger than telephone booths.

Animal experimentation—in all its forms—is inhumane, immoral, and intolerable. It’s also unreliable. According to a growing number of studies and expert opinions, it is bad science. No amount of wishful thinking will make the physiology of animals just like a human’s, even if we do share a capacity for joy—and for suffering. No living being should have his or her body violated for cruel, utterly pointless experiments.

Australia, Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the U.K. have banned or severely limited experiments on great apes, and several other countries and the European Union are considering similar bans as well. Tragically, neither the U.S. nor Canada have followed suit. In fact, the U.S. is the only nation in the world that continues large-scale use of chimpanzees in experiments.

There is something that you can do right now that will make a tangible difference in the lives of these exploited and abused animals—and send a shiver down the spine of any experimenter and any company, large or small, that choose to abuse animals in experiments.

Please sign the petition in support of the Great Ape Protection Act to end the use of all great apes in invasive research-chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans-and retire federally owned great apes to sanctuaries like the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest.

It’s time for the U.S. to join the growing number of countries that have banned the use of great apes for experiments.

Kathy Guillermo is the director of PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department

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  • Julie says:

    I too am ashamed to be a part of this human race and agree wholeheartedly with the messages already sent. Who gave us the right to do what we do? Who said it was okay for us to torture and abuse these wonderful animals? Nobody! Animals were created as a part of the beauty of this world for us to love, respect and care for. It seems to me the only thing ‘God’ did wrong was to add humans to it. I don’t understand why other people do not see and feel the same as we do. They miss out on so much. I hope one day the abusers become the abused. I will not be able to attend the protest meeting as I live in England (I would be there if I could) but I will be signing the petition and sending a letter to Stuart Zola. I’ll pray for ‘Wenka’ (who was born the same year as me) and others like him.

  • Marie Laundy says:

    I am in Australia and although i am not able to sign the petition to help free Wenka, will definately be writing to Dr Zola directly. In case anyone cant see the address to write to him personally, it is :
    Yerkes Primary Research Centre
    Emory University
    954 Gatewood Rd, NE
    ATLANTA GA 30329

  • Using ANY animal for painful experiments is cruel and evil. Apes are so close to humans that people in their right mind can’t comprehend the cruelty. However, since we still use painful and invasive experiments on humans we are all long ways away from ending the crimes done to these poor animals. I am so ashamed of my country (the evil USA) for all the torture, lies and propaganda. I would give my life to stop it but a life means nothing to these bastards. People need to wake up, come together and say enough is enough! No more human or animal testing. We need to pass laws where a person whom commits such heinous crimes be locked up in prison – Not the other way around. Please help protest for the release of Wenka!

  • Sherif Hamdy says:

    Dear Kelly

    Thank you for your support and for your interest in signing the Great Ape Protection Act petition. Unfortunately, the act is for U.S. legislation and the U.S. Congress will not accept signatures from outside the U.S. We apologize for this, but again appreciate your concern and desire to protect apes from experimentation.

    Thank you again for all of your efforts to help animals!

    Kind regards,
    Sherif Hamdy

  • Steve says:

    Dr. Zola, et al. : Time to grant this magnificent creature her freedom by releasing her to the nearest sanctuary. You’ve had her long enough for your insidious experiments and nefarious treatments, all in the name of “science.” Now please do the right thing and release her. May “God” and the universe have mercy on your soul for what you have done to Wenka and other living, sentient beings! Thank you!

  • Nancy says:

    This is criminal! Stuart Zola and anyone else involved should spend the rest of their lives in a cage. It’s time to do the RIGHT thing and release Wenka to a santuary. As a Canadian, I can’t believe both Canada and the US continue to think these experiments are ok. I tried to sign the petition but it’s only for US residents. I will be with you at the demonstration in thought and spirit. God help the animals.

  • kelly says:

    i tried to sign the letter to save the great ape but it won’t allow me to submit bcuz i’m from Canada and won’t accept my province (states only are listed to choose from)

  • teresa says:

    May the Sun Father/Hashi Inkba bless these sacred creatures of Light whom came to assist mankind on his journey of evolution,May we remember that we made a promise to honor, and respect and to be the protectors of all living breathing life here on Earth Mother’s breast,awaken all hearts to a more gentle loving breath and wave of Love

  • teresa says:

    All animals and creatures are sacred living breathing beings of luv and our cosmic mother, please remeber to honor and respect all life’s breath of our precious earth mother,remeber who you are,divine light, in a material world and shell of a body, we are all eternal conciousness as One,nothing here is seperate,We are One in Oneness

  • ANNE PICKARD says:

    I also think it is more then time to retire Wenka to a sanctuary to live out her live in freedom, what a great experience that woudl be for her.
    Come on Mr Zola, have a heart and set her free, do this good deed and I think and hope you will feel a better person.

  • stop the use of great apes in painful invasive expetiments.you do not have the right to do it,at any humman or animal beeing.it is unhuman and immoral.

  • Anne Compagnon says:

    Zola v Wenka:

    Dear Dr. Zola: Your interest ini Wenka is natural. Wenda has been with you for many years. She is old now, in her 50’s. She was born in a Laboratory, yours probably.

    Think Dr. Zola, how many days and nights have Wenka been deprived
    of the beams from the Moom, and the rays from the Sun. Wenka has been deprived of jumping from tree to tree, eating fresh veggies,
    and just being a good Chimp.

    Is hard to part with those we love including animals of all types, look at what China is doing….China, a Country with many artistic modalities is being extremely cruel. Lood at the poor dogs/cats that are savegly skinned alive….those animals, when you watch a video will turn your stomach to vomit while your soul dyes in pain because you cant interfere.

    In the case of Wenka, she has given you lots and lots of joy seing her grow, and also lots of sadness putting Wenka thru artificial infections to see the results in the human body. The day has come, that Wenka’s
    submission to lab practices are over.

    Sign Wenka to a SANCTUARY.

    God, in whichever way you identify with,
    will be honored for Wenka’s freedom.

    Freedom is in your hands Dr. Zola.


  • Donna says:

    This is on the same scale as the Austrian Josef Fritzl who’s daughter never saw the outside for 24 years. For poor Wenka it’s been 55 years. How shameful, cruel and inhumane. Who’s the primitive here? Please let Wenka at least enjoy what little freedom she can experience before her horrible life experience ends. Dear Wenka I pray for your release. Why was she kept in this house of horrors for so long????

  • Irish says:

    We are already a inhumain species,we are the true animals here!

  • Wanda says:

    I live too far away, and can not join in your demonstration for Wenka. We need to keep writing letters to our state representatives, senators, governor, vice president, and President demanding the release of the elder Chimpanzees immediately. We also need to demand that they stop using Chimpanzees in research, and place all Chimpanzees in sanctuaries.

  • Cherry says:

    Signed the petition, with pleasure. Would love to be there on 5/16 but live in Arizona. I wish for you a terrific turn-out and great success in stopping these stomach turning atrocities.
    Best of luck!!!

  • To start of with I would like to apologize if my “English” is not perfect, it is
    my second language. I feel anger in my heart to hear Wenka had to live for
    all her life in such horrible condition & has survived without ever knowing
    what if would be like to be with her own kind. Someone wrote earlier how
    can people work in a facility like Wenka’s “home”, take their paycheck & do
    the things they like to do!!! How do these people sleep at night ? Our technology is now a days advanced enough to do research on computers.
    I for myself always think & that may offend other humans if it is a “product”
    for a human a human should be the one the product is tested on. Everywhere our jail/prisons are over filled with very bad people, sitting &
    receiving three meals per day, getting doctors care & also recreation time
    we should have humans in Wenka’s place. Humans could tell these so called “testers” how it feels after being injected with whatever it may is!!!
    Only a species called human is able to come up with taking some animal &
    think it is OK to test on, only humans think they are superior & have the right
    to do such horrible, painful, & inhuman things to a animal. Animals have
    no way of letting us know the pain they are enduring, they just suffer in
    silence & we as humans should be the ones who try to make their life better. We take their living space away just so we can have a new Mall,
    Parking Lot, or new Housing built, we are selfish & should be ashamed of
    our fellow humans. I for one am ashamed to have fellow humans going to
    work at Wenka’s “home” & not even knowing how bad they are!!!!!
    It fills my eyes with tears every time I hear of stories like Wenka’s & I know
    there are many other animals kept for testing, so women/men benefit from
    it. Why can’t we stop using our fellow living creatures as if they are not
    worse to have a right of live, a live worse living. We need to stop this
    torture now, we do not need these torture facilities.
    Please, I ask all you people who think it is OK for all the Wenka’s in this world to suffer for us the “great human” PLEASE stop & please let Wenka
    go to a place where she lives the little lifetime she as left thinking she’s in

  • Teresa says:

    I agree with all those comments and wish I could be involved in this demonstration. In numbers, maybe we can help change the human race, for all the poor animals who have no voice. It is hard to comprehend those heartless humans living with themselves. And it is sad that so often, it’s the dollar that comes first in our world. I pray for better.

  • What in the Hell does it take to get you people to begin seeing these BEINGS as BEINGS instead as a commodity for experimentation?! Will you EVER get it through your coroperate skulls that you are willingly torturing BEINGS who have the same Creator as you and I do? Will you EVER put Heart and Compassion over Profit???????????????

    I sincerely hope ALL your research grants get canceled!

    For God’s sake, release this sister, this fine old lady, this piece of the Creator you have been torturing to a happier end of her remaining life!

    Robert E. Nelson

  • […] PETA: Support the “Great Ape Protection Act” […]

  • Rosmin says:

    They perform cruelties to their grand parents!

    Stop these unwanted activities immediately!

  • Pamela Lavine says:

    I want to be kind to all living creatures. That means freeing a little worm still alive but stuck to the dry sidewalk, to freeing the greatest ape from a life of confined torture.

  • Anne Speakman says:

    A great beginning would be to do the right thing for a change, so many animals have suffered at your hands, you have now the oppertunity to make a difference in these animals lives, what is left of them. Do the right thing for these animals, please

  • Yeah It’s really embarassing I Really don’t understand why they do that
    if they now that the animal are sufering a HORRIBLE pain It’s really bad see that the people do that to the animal , because the animal the don’t do anything bad to us ,, and we should be embarrassing of do that
    really i’m dessapointed ..

  • Jan Geren says:

    Please let Wenka be retired in a beautiful place where she can breathe fresh air and see the sunshine. Her life has been a long and enduring life and truly she deserves more than this to her end.
    Please let me know that she has been retired in a wonderful place.
    Jan Geren

  • Lorraine says:

    55 years! Wenka has been in a lab for 55 years! longer than I’ve been alive… While I have been living my life, she has been suffering, day after day after day after year after year… and she’s not the only one. There are so many suffering. I’m so sorry Wenka, I’m overwhelmed with anger and grief, sorrow, sadness. How can anyone cash a paycheck from doing this kind of ‘work’ … go home to their families knowing these wonderful beings are caged in this madness? I don’t understand how anyone can do this. Tears are running down my face. I feel ashamed to be apart of the human race.

  • Marsha Levine says:

    To whom this may concern;

    Humans who perpetuate agonies upon helpless species who feel the same emotions of fear, anxiety, the bonding of love, friendship and family, physical pain as we do. If these humans continue along their path, there needs to be a way to show them that what they are doing, is in no way different than the atrocities that humans commit when they consider themselves superior to any “human” culture, different to what they’re accustomed to, killing, enslaving, raping, etc.

    Our system should be something we can be proud of. Not afraid of!!!
    I’m so fearful of and am ashamed to be of a species who is so disconnected
    from their birthright to know compassion and to feel the feelings of
    others. no matter what our differences.

    I pray there are severe repercussions on every level of laws from the
    spiritual to the physical financial and moral for anyone who continues
    to torture anyone of any species. If they don’t stop, I hope that they experience the same done to themselves.

    Animals prisoners need space, socialization, healthy activity, and fresh air.

    This is EVIL incarnate.

    Marsha Levine

  • Patty Bowers says:

    Some day we will be looked back upon as barbaric, cruel and savage people due to the way we treated animals. Thankfully, those of us at PETA and others will have nothing to do with those kinds of behaviors, and did everything we could to end it. Keep up the great work! We will never give up.

  • Mariana Bassani says:

    Stop The Use of Great Apes in Painful, Invasive Experiments!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Melody Paris says:

    It is embarrassing that the U.S. is still imprisoning the great apes!!!

  • Phyllis says:

    For anyone who can join us – we will have a peaceful, legal, demonstration outside the stone gate entrance to Emory University, home of Yerkes Primate Research Center this Saturday, May 16. Please be there at 11:45, demo will start at noon. Meet at the intersection of North Decatur Road and Dowman Dr, Atlanta, GA (stone gate entrance) – we’ll be standing on the corner and as far up North Deactur Road and we can spread out.

    If you can’t join us, please sign the petition above and also, please consider writing to Yerkes’ director Stuart Zola and ask him to retire Wenka. Be forewarned – Zola has responded to previous request to retire Wenka by asking for donations to Yerkes! Obviously do NOT send him any money!! (Yerkes already gets millions of dollars in government grants courtesy of the NIH and we the tax payers each year.) But, if you can let him know that you want Wenka retired to a sanctuary his address is:
    Stuart Zola, PhD
    Yerkes Primate Research Center
    Emory University
    954 Gatewood Road, NE
    Atlanta, GA 30329


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