Actress Emily Deschanel says the National Institutes of Health is committing a “real-life crime against animals” by putting 14 aging chimpanzees back into painful and invasive research at a Texas laboratory with a track record of animal abuse.

Deschanel, who plays a forensic scientist in the TV drama Bones, has written a letter to NIH director Dr. Francis S. Collins urging him to return the chimpanzees to the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico where they were living in near-retirement before they were moved.

“All of the Alamogordo chimpanzees have already been subjected to so much pain and suffering,” she writes. “Many of them were used in painful, invasive experiments for decades before being retired in Alamogordo. All of them …deserve to live out their lives in peace.”

The full letter is posted below:

Emily Deschanel letter

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