Wednesday, November 13, 2002

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HELPING TO REHABILITATE FORMER LAB CHIMPANZEES

SC's Psychology Department Initiates 'Project New Beginning'

WINFIELD, Kan. -- The department of psychology at Southwestern College is initiating Project New Beginning, a drive to assist in the rehabilitation efforts of 266 chimpanzees and 61 monkeys that have recently been retired from research.

James Nolan, assistant professor of psychology, and Claudia Geer, associate professor of psychology, are hoping to acquire much-needed supplies for the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care project, Alamogordo, N.M....

Nolan says that the Southwestern project is spurred by the September closure of the Coulston Foundation primate-testing laboratory in Alamogordo. The lab specialized in all types of research including insecticide, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical developments, and various biomedical procedures....

"Thousands of non-human primates are living in research laboratories. Some are treated ethically while others are not," says Geer. "Those at the Coulston facility have suffered some of the worst conditions and handling possible. Our goal is to assist the rehabilitation effort in the hope that these chimpanzees and monkeys may live the remainder of their lives in sanctuaries."

The Chimpanzee Collaboratory, a group of attorneys, scientists and public policy experts working together to improve the welfare and upgrade the legal status of great apes, says their similarity to humans has contributed to the problem of abuse: "Because of [the] similarities, chimpanzees are used and abused by humans in the name of science, entertainment and education. Conveniently however, they are seen by society to be just different enough that they have been deprived of the most basic legal rights."...