It wasn’t long ago—less than a decade—that our close cousin, the chimpanzee, was used in invasive biomedical research. Hundreds of these highly intelligent and social animals were kept in isolated in cages where they awaited uncertain fates as test subjects for terrible diseases like hepatitis and malaria.
But thanks to the compassion of NAVS supporters, those days are done. This victory—one of our biggest won in our 90 years of fighting on behalf of animals–didn’t happen overnight, and it didn’t happen without countless people raising their voices for the voiceless.
While the groundwork had been laid by National Anti-Vivisection Society members since our organization began in 1928, momentum began to shift in 1997, when NAVS spearheaded the effort to introduce the CHIMP Act This legislation, which passed in 2000, established a national “retirement” sanctuary for chimpanzees no longer used in research. From the CHIMP Act came over a decade of culminating legislative wins for chimpanzees used in research, and NAVS remained at the forefront of this battle because our supporters knew that the practice of exploiting chimpanzees in the name of science had to end.
And thanks in part to this commitment and compassion of people like you, in 2015 the NIH announced its chimpanzee program would be discontinued, and they would begin the process of moving these animals to Chimp Haven—the sanctuary the CHIMP Act established nearly ten years before. As of this past summer, there were more chimpanzees living at the sanctuary than there were at holding facilities, and, thanks to pressure from animal advocates, the NIH has reinforced their commitment to ensuring all healthy chimps would be transported to Chimp Haven.
When we see photos of chimpanzees at Chimp Haven playing, socializing and getting to behave the way they would in nature, we also see the impact of thousands of NAVS supporters whose faith in our mission helped make these images of freedom possible. As we close out the year, we’re hoping you will help us continue this legacy as we look toward creating more wins like this one for dogs, cats, other nonhuman primates and all species of animals used in science with a gift today.
By joining with the 90 years of supporters who have come before us, we know that we are closer than ever to ending animal testing and experimentation—but we can’t do it without you.