As the United States continues to conduct invasive experiments on chimpanzees, one of only two nations to do so, more celebrities are joining the call for an end to the testing. The stars are throwing their support behind the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act which would end testing on chimps and send the hundreds of chimps in federally owned-labs to sanctuaries.
James Franco and Kevin Nealon pledged to help PCRM get the legislation passed, Woody Harrelson and Steve-O both wrote to Senator Barbara Boxer urging her support, and Alicia Silverstone has asked the public to contact their representatives in support of the bill.
According to The Hill, James Franco continues to voice his support and he has been joined by Alec Baldwin and Bill Maher. Maher writes in his letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, “Other countries have already done away with experiments on great apes because of the serious scientific and ethical problems. In fact, we are the only country to continue funding large-scale invasive experiments on chimpanzees.”
Elizabeth Kucinich, the director of government affairs for PCRM, adds that the experiments are cause for economic concern as well as ethical. “The government waste attached to these seemingly small programs are actually significant sums of money. It costs the government tens of millions of dollars annually to house these chimpanzees for use; so it’s not just an ethical and medical issue, it’s also a fiscal issue.” The legislation would reportedly save almost $300 million over the next ten years.
Baldwin added in a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, “I’ve made a pledge not to be in any movies or TV shows that use chimpanzees or other great apes. But unfortunately, my tax dollars are still being spent on chimpanzee abuse – and I’m writing to ask for your help in changing that.”
PCRM also provides a page where you can contact your reps in support of the bill. While you do that, also celebrate the few chimps who are now free of their research lab cages with this video of rescued chimps feeling grass under their feet for the very first time at Save The Chimps!
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