Thursday, March 8, 2012

Senate schedules, then postpones, then holds a hearing on Great Ape Protection Act

UPDATE JULY 29, 2012: The committee amended the bill and sent it to the full Senate. Keep up on the action at the Chimp Trainer's Daughter page on the Great Ape Protection Act.

UPDATE, APRIL 24: The subcommittee hearing for the Great Ape Protection Act was held this morning. No new ground was covered, in that NIH just reiterated what they've been saying for the last several months. However, it turns out that Dr. Wasserman, on Panel 2,is a chimp advocate, although he wasn't identified as a representative of any one group -- which is probably a good thing. (See this Baltimore Sun article on Wasserman's efforts to stop testing in primates.) He was good, and knew his stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by Senator Cardin's effort to get NIH to provide legislative language that would align S.810 with the IOM recommendations, so that the recommendations would have the effect of law rather than be subject to the whims of regulators. Let's see how long Sen. Cardin waits for NIH's response...

UPDATE, APRIL 20: The Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife has scheduled a hearing for April 24. No ape advocates are on the panel. An NIH official will be testifying. 

UPDATE, MARCH 9: the subcommittee posted a notice that the hearing is postponed. This message was posted on the subcommittee's website:
Due to the Senate schedule, this will be rescheduled for a later date.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, will hold a legislative hearing to consider S. 810, Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act of 2011, among other bills dealing with wildlife conservation and protection.  
The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, at 2:30 in room 406 of the Dirksen Building on Capitol Hill. Witnesses invited to testify: Daniel M. Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Dr. James M. Anderson, from the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Douglas B. Inkley, National Wildlife Federation; Dr. Martin Wasserman, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; and Dr. Greg Schildwachter, Watershed Results LLC.
Ape advocates should contact members of the subcommittee if they would like their Senator to ask any pertinent questions. The subcommittee members are: Ben Cardin (MD), Max Baucus (MT), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Tom Udall (NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Jeff Sessions (AL), John Barrasso (WY), David Vitter (LA), Mike Crapo (ID), and Lamar Alexander (TN).

Link to subcommittee announcement.

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