We’ve been saying it for years. Today, the committee of scientists commissioned by the federal government to examine the scientific validity of experiments on chimpanzees publicly agreed with us. The long-awaited Institute of Medicine (IOM) report concludes: “[M]ost current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary.”
PETA welcomes the Institute of Medicine committee’s landmark report confirming that in the 21st century, the current use of chimpanzees—complex, intelligent, emotional individuals—in virtually every single area of testing, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and the majority of hepatitis work, is scientifically and ethically indefensible.
These findings confirm what PETA has said for 30 years and what PETA communicated to the Institute of Medicine during its deliberations. A blanket denunciation of all experiments on chimpanzees should be the next step. The onus now falls on the National Institutes of Health to adopt the findings of this report and stop squandering taxpayers’ money on outdated and unethical experiments and on Congress to pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, which would phase out the use of chimpanzees and permanently retire more than 500 federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, where they could live in peace at last.
Update: Making this historic day for animals even more significant, NIH has announced that it will accept all the recommendations of the IOM committee and that it will stop funding any new experiments on chimpanzees! All current experiments on chimpanzees will be reevaluated, and many may be ended. Until NIH conducts another review of the situation, none of the NIH-owned chimpanzees currently living in laboratories but not being experimented on will have to endure further experiments. This includes the chimpanzees at the Alamogordo facility.
This post originally appeared on PETA.org