The Humane Society of the United States endorses tThe Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513 / S. 810). This bill protects our closest living relatives and saves taxpayers money by phasing out the use of chimpanzees in invasive research, requiring the permanent retirement of the 500 government-owned chimpanzees currently held in research laboratories to suitable sanctuaries, and prohibits the breeding chimpanzees for research (NIH has a policy on paper prohibiting the breeding pf federally-owned or supported chimpanzees for research, but this policy should be codified and enforced).
Chimpanzees are very social, highly intelligent, and proficient in tool use, problem solving, and numerical skills and can even learn American Sign Language. Their intelligence and ability to experience emotions so similar to humans bolster the argument that chimpanzees intensely suffer under laboratory conditions. Despite extensive scientific knowledge of their rich social and emotional lives and their ineffectiveness as models for human diseases like HIV, chimpanzees continue to be subjected to painful and invasive experiments – some for over 50 years.
At any given time, the vast majority of chimpanzees aren’t being used in active research protocols and are simply warehoused in laboratories for decades, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars. Ending invasive research on chimpanzees and transferring all of the government-owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries is the most cost effective and humane method of providing quality care for the these animals, and would save approximately 30 million taxpayer dollars each year.