Woody Harrelson has backed a decision by the National Institutes of Health to delay moving almost 200 chimpanzees from an animal sanctuary to a medical lab until further investigation is made on whether the move would provide any valuable contributions to research.
“These aging chimpanzees… have endured decades of violence and torment, having been used in everything from space experiments to high-velocity seat belt tests,” Harrelson wrote in a letter after learning of the proposed move.
“Only in the last few years have they enjoyed bedding, fruit, toys, the touch and companionship of other chimpanzees, and freedom from the knife. Will you please return the 14 chimpanzees… to these simple pleasures and allow them to continue the rehabilitation that they have more than earned?”
The NIH issued a statement on the cancellation of the move from the sanctuary located in New Mexico to Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research.
“…pending an Institute of Medicine [the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences] in-depth analysis to reassess the scientific need for the continued use of chimpanzees.”
The analysis is expected to take 2 years, according to Releasechimps.org.
Photo: PR Photos
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