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Primates Deserve Respect in Retirement

By 03/24/2015February 7th, 2018Archives, Press

source: Capital Times

(Below is a letter to the editor sent to the Capital Times from the Founder, Amy M. Kerwin – she makes the case for retiring monkeys from Madison laboratories.) 

March 22, 2015

Dear Editor: The coverage of primate research in Madison provided by The Capital Times and other news media has helped to increase awareness and remind readers that thousands of monkeys are experimented on around the country and locally for scientific reasons.

In many research labs, monkeys are still housed according to the minimum, regulation-sized enclosures (e.g., for a rhesus monkey weighing 6.6 to 22 lbs., the minimum area is 4.3 square feet with a height of 2.5 feet per monkey).

Chimpanzees have received federal funding for their retirement into sanctuaries since 2000. Unfortunately, monkeys do not receive this funding even though they too are tested on because of their similarities to humans.

The very least that researchers and society can do is to give back to the monkeys by retiring them to sanctuaries whenever possible. At a sanctuary, the monkeys that have been tested on for the sake of helping humankind are allowed to live their last years in dignity with a more natural and enriching indoor/outdoor environment. They will be able to see the sun for the first time and forage and travel between spacious enclosures to stimulate natural behaviors.

I encourage local laboratories to collaborate with laboratories that have primate-retirement programs in place and to contact existing monkey sanctuaries to create a plan.

Please give the Madison monkeys the retirement they deserve.

Amy M. Kerwin, former primate researcher, 1999-2004



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