What happens to “retired” research chimps? »
NPR had a nice report on Friday about the lives of chimps after they have been “retired” from scientific study, specifically those at the National Institutes of Health. Yes, “retired” is a bullshit term and life for lab animals is horrific, but obfuscatory vocabulary shouldn’t detract from the actual greatness of taking chimpanzees out of those labs; we made their lives hell, but now we are taking them out of that hell.
NPR focuses on two facilities that take in research chimps, Save the Chimps in Florida, and Chimp Haven in Louisiana. Both sanctuaries tell science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce that they are willing and able to take in more of the NIH’s retired chimps (which number in the hundreds), but because “Congress put a [$30 million] cap on how much the agency can spend on chimp sanctuaries when it passed the CHIMP Act in 2000,” and the NIH has already spent almost $29 million so far. Save the Chimps and Chimp Haven are raising more money to meet demand, but for 100 recently retired chimps, the NIH instead chose to make them “ineligible for experiments,” and “moved [them] to a different lab that had space to house them” instead of sending them to sanctuaries.
The cost of keeping a chimp in a lab for a year, $15,000, is close to the annual cost of housing a chimp in a sanctuary. As Greenfieldboyce reports, the sanctuaries are working on raising $5 million right now to take on the retired chimps, as well as make room for chimps expected to be retired by the NIH soon. The story is an interesting read (and better listen), if you can get past the “retired” euphemism. Because come on, NIH, none of these chimpanzees ever applied for the “jobs” you gave them.
[Photo of Chimp Haven resident by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr]
Life as a lab animal is the worst: Thousands of NYU’s test rodents drowned this week »
Despite being “one of the largest and most valuable [collection of carefully bred rodents] of its kind in the country,” the thousands of mice and rats living in a cellar in New York University’s Smilow Research Center drowned in the Sandy-related flooding that began on Monday night. The New York Times reports that while most of the test-subject animals housed at the Smilow Center were rescued, workers could not save something like 10,000 rats and mice.
But don’t worry:
Already scientists at two research centers, the University of Pennsylvania and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, have pledged to donate animals to restart some of the Smilow center’s colonies. “That’s the one really positive thing to come out of this,” Dr. Fishell said. “Individuals in the research community, who in most businesses would be considered my competitors, have been eager to help.”
Phew! I know I’m relieved our scientists can get back to torturing those animals in the name of humanity ASAP.
[Photo by Pockafwye via Flickr]
It’s a cookbook! It’s a ‘zine! It’s both! It’s adorable! It helps monkeys! It can be yours for a mere $9 + $2 shipping!
Straight from Etsy:
Hungry Monkey Vegan Cookzine has dozens of delicious recipes written by animal rights activists, as well as famous vegan chefs and benefits rescued lab monkeys!
There are several raw, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipes as well! All proceeds go directly to benefit eight lucky monkeys who became “seized property” when an animal testing laboratory in New Jersey went bankrupt one year ago. One hundred percent of proceeds from this zine will fund a new outdoor shelter for these rescued monkeys to protect them from the harsh Oklahoma winter that is right around the corner. Beautifully illustrated by U.K. Illustrator Renato Stumpo with over 40 pages of awesomeness.
What a perfect holiday gift! Recipe I’m most intrigued by: Old Fashion Peanut Brittle Maple Bacon Cupcakes. W.T.F. O.M.G.
Brainiac pigeons rescued from lab and need homes! »
Mickacoo has been up to some good work, as usual! This time, they’ve taken on 10 lab-test pigeons who are no longer wanted. They were all in stupid small cages with no natural light! Very sad. The experiments they were in however gave evidence that pigeons can see color and count! Pigeons are geniuses! Check out the Mickacoo blog for the whole story.
Here’s one of the beautiful pigeons in his crappy old house, and his flashy new digs
These brainy pigeons need homes! You should get a pigeon! How cool would you be? OMG so cool. I would be super-jealous. That’s important.
That’s the text of what may be the world’s first animal rights poem, written in 1773 by sympathetic lab assistant Anna Barbauld from the point of view of one of the mice in her lab.
“There’s this extraordinary moment,” says historian Richard Holmes. “Priestley packs up for the day, and he leaves that next mouse in a cage on his desk for the next morning. He will put it [in a breathing tank] and remove the oxygen, and the mouse will almost certainly die. And Anna Barbauld, who’s cleaning up, she just looks at the mouse, and she thinks, wait a minute, wait a minute … and she sits down and writes a poem.”