Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

International Objection to Chimp Move

3 May 2016

Categories: Homepage News, Zoo Check Campaign News, Primates Campaign News

Animal protection organisations file second lawsuit in bid to block eight chimpanzees being moved to UK zoo

The Born Free Foundation is profoundly disappointed to learn that, despite widespread opposition and objections from the animal protection community and the wider public, eight chimpanzees look set to be exported from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in the USA to a British zoo.

The Center has made arrangements to ‘donate’ eight of more than fifty chimpanzees to Wingham Wildlife Park, a zoo in Kent.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has indicated that it is likely to grant a permit for export of the chimps as early as May 1.

A key issue being contested is that any export of an endangered species such as chimpanzees must, in theory, be undertaken with the objective of furthering the survival of the species; something the animal protection community consider will simply not be the case in this situation. The European zoo community has reportedly commented that there is already a surplus of chimps in the region’s captive breeding programme.

International animal protection organisations and sanctuaries have all objected to the move, with internationally-renowned primatologist Dr Richard Wrangham reportedly refusing to accept a donation offered by the Yerkes Center. Several sanctuaries within North America have offered places for the chimps if needed.

In an effort to prevent the move, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) and other groups responded to the USFWS decision by filing a new lawsuit in Washington which aims to stop the permit being granted.

The Born Free Foundation strongly objects to the proposed move and believes that genuine accredited sanctuaries in North America present a more humane and logical option for the chimpanzees. Moving eight chimpanzees to a UK zoo with no experience in caring for the species brings no benefit or enhancement to the future survival of the species and risks the welfare of the individual animals.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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