By Jennifer O'Connor
Federal laws are known for having loopholes, and a regulation that allows notorious animal abusers and profiteers to use chimpanzees for purely commercial purposes and in horrific laboratory experiments needs to be closed right now. Currently, only wildchimpanzees are protected as endangered under the Endangered Species Act—captive chimpanzees are inexplicably denied these protections—but that could soon change.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed an amendment that would remove this major exemption and protect wild and captive chimpanzees equally for the first time. PETA supports this new rule since it means captive chimpanzees who are forced to perform confusing and unnatural tricks in the name of entertainment and who suffer at the hands of callous experimenters would be given the full protection of the Endangered Species Act, which prohibits harming and harassing listed species.
The FWS is asking the public for comments on this proposed change and needs to hear from you by the end of the day on January 30.
Click here to urge the FWS to give captive chimpanzees the same protections currently afforded to their wild counterparts.