SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- An animal-rights group says it is
protesting the planned move of almost 200 chimpanzees from a New
Mexico Air Force base to a Texas research facility.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine submitted a
legal petition to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius asking her to retire the federally owned primates and
stop their move to the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical
Research, the San Antonio Express-News reported Friday.
The foundation's Southwest National Primate Research Center says
the chimps would help in studies of hepatitis B and C, AIDS and
the Ebola virus.
"These chimpanzees are needed in research," center director John
Dr. John J. Pippin, the advocacy group's senior medical and
research adviser, argued decades of chimpanzee-based research
have failed to significantly advance human health.
"We are in this because we believe from our own experience that
there's a better way to do this," Pippin said. "This is
unproductive, and therefore it's especially inhumane."
A number of public figures have spoken out against the transfer,
including New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, actor Gene Hackman and
primatologist Jane Goodall, the Express-News reported.