Monday, January 7, 2013

U.S. Senator Wyden blocked the Senate vote of the Great Ape Protection Act

Legislation to get chimpanzees out of federal research has been introduced in the Congress every year since 2008. (See GAPA history here.) Why didn't the Great Ape Protection Act get a highly anticipated vote in the Senate in 2012? It turns out that Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat from Oregon, put a "hold" on the bill, preventing its consideration. While it is highly unlikely that the bill would have become law even if the Senate approved it, since the House has never acted on the legislation (and it takes approval by both houses before a bill can go the President for his signature or veto), we should know who supports the retirement of federal chimpanzees from research, and who wants to keep the chimpanzees in laboratories.

(People are asking how they can contact Senator Wyden. Here is his contact info.)

This is Senator Wyden's statement, which he entered into the Congressional Record:


GREAT APE PROTECTION AND COST SAVING ACT -- (Senate - December 13, 2012)

[Page: S8037]
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   Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, consistent with Senate standing orders and my policy of publishing in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD a statement whenever I place a hold on legislation, I am announcing my intention to object to any unanimous consent request to proceed to and pass S. 810, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Saving Act.

 Oregon is home to one of the eight National Institutes of Health, NIH-supported National Primate Research Centers, and it is already subject to strong local and national oversight to ensure the highest quality and ethical care for animals. These Centers provide outstanding research and powerful research tools that are vital to our understanding of human health and disease and hold enormous potential for finding treatments for life-threatening disorders.
 
While ensuring the highest quality and ethical care for animals is of utmost importance, there is already significant oversight and regulation of these facilities.

 In addition to meeting the high standards required by NIH to obtain and retain Federal health research dollars, centers are also already responsible for meeting the lengthy, detailed and often-updated Federal requirements within the Animal Welfare Act. Facilities are subject to thorough, regular, and unannounced inspections by U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services and are subject to regulations from the Public Health Service, PHS, and Food and Drug Administration, FDA. Experiments must also be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, IACUC, at the Institution where the scientist works before research can begin.

 While I support protecting animals from unethical and inhumane treatment, the NIH is in the process of reviewing and implementing related recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. At this stage, passing legislation would circumvent this ongoing process. For this reason, I object to the Senate taking up and passing S. 810.

13 comments:

  1. Very disheartening. Of course, with the Oregon Primate Research Center as a business in Portland, he's protecting his state's financial interests.... and not animal welfare.

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  2. What a sad thing to hear. I hope he reconsiders.

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  3. Yes, it's disheartening and sad. It is also unforgivable, as far as I'm concerned. I don't care where Wyden has been on other animal welfare issues, he can vote however he wants, but it is unforgivable when he blocks a vote to get apes out of research. I hope ape advocates never forget Wyden's extraordinary effort on behalf of the country's research labs and their corporate partners.

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  4. I will never forget it, thats for sure. I could go on about him and it wouldnt be very nice.

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  5. They can be senators or what ever. But if some one does not have the common sence it is hard to understand such issues. These Apes need to be given the Freedom they deserve. Who ever do harm to any type of innocent animals the repercursions will be followed. "What goes around must comes around"

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  6. This is doubly ridiculous as the Oregon Primate Center has never owned any chimpanzees. Mainly they hold miserable monkeys. Shame on Senator Wyden! Hope the bill will be introduced and put to a vote.

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    1. We should probably check up on the Senators who DO have chimp research in their states. I just learned that Humane Society's Wayne Pacelle blogged that "a handful of senators blocked floor consideration of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, meaning that chimpanzees, most of them not even used in experiments, will continue to languish in laboratories at taxpayer expense." I really wish HSUS would share the names of the "handful" of Senators.

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  7. we can all be sad and say how disheartening, unfortunate and unforgivable but unless we take some sort of action these animals will be no better off. Write to your congress,senator and Mr Oboma. flood them with calls letters until we are heard. No i dont think it's gonna be that easy BUT until they get sick of hearing from us and poor press.We have to keep trying. One Bob Ingersoll in this world is not enough. These animals are the closest to the human race. They have sadness they do morn and become depressed,however they cant speak we must help them. They need us.The info you need is on Bob Ingersoll face book page. PLEASE start your calls and letters now.enough is enough. Nim I am doing this for you!! Theresa Miller

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  8. Sounds like someone who has no clue. Maybe he should be made to go and visit these research facilities and watch what is done to them. See the young ones before they are infected or treated and see the results. See what they look like as adults, after they have been subjected to God knows what. How can a living being be deliberatele subjected to that.

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    1. Good idea, Maria! Even better, legislators should do a 2-day trip: demand to see the locked research areas where cameras aren't allowed, and then spend a day at Chimp Haven to how the chimps recover in sanctuary.

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