The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was created to protect ecosystems and animals at risk of extinction by restricting their trade and use, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is charged with upholding the integrity of this law. The agency is currently being challenged by groups including the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Jane Goodall Institute, regarding its controversial split-listing of chimpanzees, in which wild chimps are classified as endangered, while those in captivity are listed only as threatened. This lower classification has allowed the continued use and exploitation of captive chimpanzees in research and entertainment.
Today, approximately 2,000 chimpanzees live in captivity in the U.S., half of whom are privately owned either as pets or as part of the entertainment industry, while the other half are used in research, most of it government funded. Amplifying the suffering associated with captivity, a study earlier this year found that “captivity itself may be fundamental as a causal factor in the presence of persistent, low-level, abnormal behavior—and potentially more extreme levels in some individuals.” Thankfully, though, use of chimpanzees in research has been on the decline, and pharmaceutical companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Genentech have stopped using these animals to test their drugs, negating any justification to keep them laboratories. In fact, Genetech’s Theresa Reynolds, Director of Drug Safety Assessment, said, “With advances in technology, chimps are no longer necessary” for developing high-tech drugs. With the exception of the African nation of Gabon, the U.S. is the only country still using chimpanzees in invasive research.
Highlighting another concern, studies have shown that the use of chimpanzees in entertainment contributes to the mistaken belief that chimps are not in danger of extinction, which undermines conservation efforts. Over the past two decades, wild chimpanzee populations have declined 60 percent, and today there are only 175,000-300,000 chimps left in the wild.
Because the ESA prohibits the harmful use of animals in danger of extinction, endangered species classification for all chimpanzees could help end the use of chimps in entertainment and research.
Your Urgent Action is Needed
The FWS is accepting public comments on this issue through the Federal Register. Please help to protect chimpanzees in the wild and captivity by asking the FWS to classify captive chimpanzees as endangered, recognizing the reality that all chimps need protection. The letter below can be used as a guide, or copy and paste the letter, adding your own personal thoughts and concerns to your comments. When you click on ‘Submit your comments,’ you will be redirected to the Federal Register website. The deadline to comment is October 31.
Protest the Use of Mounted Police at Times Square Occupy Wall Street Event
On Saturday, October 15, 2011, activists with the Occupy Wall Street campaign moved demonstrators into the Time Square area for a peceful protest. This peaceful protest was met by an excessive response by the NYPD, who ordered in the mounted police.
Even though the horses of the mounted police are trained to deal with crowds and noise, it had to have been extremely stressful to introduce them into that chaotic situation. Take a look at the videos and you will see what we mean.
The next video shows the scene from a different perspective. This one was shot from a closer perspective. This is what the person who videoed had to say: Mark Heasley i was in times square when this happnened. it was horrible. the NYPD were using the horses as weapons, physically pushing the protesters back so the NYPD could set up metal barricades. the protesters were horrified that the police were using the horses in this way. at least 1 protester had his foot stepped on. here is the same incident from a different/closer angle:
The police used the horses as weapons. What is amazing is that there werent more injuries to either horses or people. In one video you can see how close one horse came to spooking. Horses do not belong in those conditions.
The horses (not to mention the protesters) need your help. Please make the following contacts starting immediately to demand that the NYPD not send the horses into such a dangerous and volatile situation. This is nothing short of animal cruelty. While you are at it remind everyone that the protesters have a right to freedom of speech and assembly. Remind them that they are not criminals but rather people who want to make the world a better place. They have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, not violence.
PLEASE CALL OR WRITE REPEATEDLY TO MAKE SURE WE ARE HEARD!
Raymond Kelly, Chief of Police
One Police Plaza
New York, NY 10038
NYPD Switchboard: (646) 610-5000
Crime Stopper Tip Line: Call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477)
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
FAX (212) 312-0700
Speaker City Council
224 West 30th St. (Suite 1206)
New York , NY 10001
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/christinecquinn <http://www.facebook.com/christinecquinn>
For more information, contact Win Animal Rights (W.A.R.) at: firstname.lastname@example.org