Give Flo the gift of freedom for her 53rd birthday

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From Project R&R (Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories):

Flo, one of the oldest chimpanzees in a U.S. laboratory, has spent nearly all of her life in a lab. She turns 53 today, September 29th. Project R&R’s elder campaign seeks to get elders like Flo, who have so little time left, into the safety of sanctuary. The labs and National Institutes of Health have consistently refused to do the right thing by these elders.

NEAVS/Project R&R recently obtained a photo of Flo from the NIH, along with photographs of Danny, Montessa, Heidi, Nicole, and Robbie. Instead of being retired, Flo and these five others are among the 180 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility who are scheduled to be transferred to the Southwest National Primate Research Center (Southwest) for use in invasive research. This decision by NIH flies in the face of demands by the public, legislators, animal protection organizations representing millions of supporters, and many scientists.

Flo’s history and that of all the others at APF include being exposed to various diseases, such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, in biomedical research. Some were also used in air and space research or to breed more babies to be sent into research. While at APF, the vast majority of the chimpanzees were spared active use in research. But that respite is soon to come to an end if NIH and Southwest have their way, as the transfer includes plans to offer them for use in hepatitis, cancer, and autoimmune disease research.

To date at least 14 chimpanzees have already been transferred, with plans to move the rest by early next year. NEAVS was saddened to learn that among the 14 are six elders – Faron, Jerry, Ken, Huby, Cammy, and Levi. Levi’s mother Jody was rescued in 2008 and is now safely at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. Their family history is sadly typical: many chimpanzees were used for breeding and had their children taken from them shortly after birth.

Flo, Wenka (at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, now 56 years old), and other elder chimpanzees in U.S. labs are running out of time. They deserve a life of safety and comfort in sanctuary before it is too late. Please take action by adding your voice to the outcry for their permanent retirement and protection from invasive research.

In honor of Flo’s birthday, PLEASE make your gift to her a call, email, or letter today! With your help, Flo and chimpanzees like her could be spending their next birthdays in sanctuary — the best gift ever.

Please contact:
Dr. Francis Collins, Director, NIH
francis.collins@nih.gov
301-496-2433
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

Ask him to reconsider NIH/NCRR’s misguided decision to transfer the Alamogordo chimpanzees and instead to retire them in place at APF. Remind him that chimpanzees deserve the safety and comforts of sanctuary and that U.S. taxpayers deserve better decision-making on how our precious dollars are spent.

Log a call to Director of NIH Francis Collins’s Office to help us track our progress.

To get involved in local efforts on behalf of the chimpanzees at Alamogordo, visit apnm.org/chimps.

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