July 30, 2012
Late last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved by voice vote the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810) that would ban “invasive” research on chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, or gibbons. The bill prohibits any research that “may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma” to the animal, including drug testing, restraining, tranquilizing, anesthetizing, isolation, social deprivation, and other activities. A substitute amendment by Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), was approved that would allow research after the ban goes into effect if the Health and Human Services Secretary finds that research on great apes necessary to combat unforeseen diseases and a task force reviews and authorizes such research. The House companion bill, HR 1513, awaits consideration by the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.