U.S. May Finally Place Captive Chimps on the Endangered List

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 11 2013 1:29 PM

U.S. May Finally Let Captive Chimps Join Wild Ones on the Endangered List

161054141
A Chimpanzee munches on leek at Tokyo's Tama Zoo on February 9, 2013

File photo by Rie Ishii/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service announced today a proposal to protect captive chimpanzees under the Endangered Species Act, something the government already does for wild chimps.

The United States is currently the only country in the industrialized world that hasn’t extended endangered or protected status to captive chimps, which means they are easily subjected to invasive medical research or used for entertainment purposes. Put another way, they can be "bought and sold online for personal use like a pair of new sneakers," or "leased to medical labs, where they are poked, prodded and injected," in the words of the Washington Post.

Advertisement

The new proposal is a response to a push to get man's closest genetic neighbor on the endangered list by groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Jane Goodall Institute. Here's the Post with the backstory and what the listing would mean:

Chimpanzees in the wild were listed as endangered 13 years ago, but those in captivity were listed as threatened, largely to allow the trade and use in medical experiments to continue. It is the agency’s only “split listing” for any endangered or threatened species, said Dan Ashe, the agency’s director. ...
An endangered proposal, which must be submitted for months of public comment before being finalized at the end of the year, would criminalize the trafficking of chimpanzees across state borders for purchase and sale, and it would force research laboratories to request permits for tests that could harm apes.

Fish and Wildlife’s proposal could signal the end for ape experimentation—especially considering that the National Institutes of Health, a longtime ape researcher, is winding down their own practice. Retreating from repeated claims that ape research has led to medical breakthroughs, an NIH body said this year that "there is no compelling reason to maintain a large research population" of apes. What these developments mean for chimps’ use in film, TV and live entertainment isn’t totally clear. According to Fish and Wildlife, it’ll be left for "public comment."

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

Big Problems With the Secret Service Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 12:58 PM Why Can’t States Do More to Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills? It’s complicated.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 2 2014 1:05 PM What's Wrong With "America's Ugliest Accent"
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 2 2014 12:37 PM St. Louis Study Confirms That IUDs Are the Key to Lowering Teen Pregnancy Rates
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 2 2014 1:09 PM Are You Enjoying a Picnic on a Dumpsite?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 1:22 PM If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would You Notice? What cyranoid experiments reveal about how people act.  
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 2 2014 12:53 PM The Panic Virus How public health officials are keeping Americans calm about the Ebola threat.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?