Comedian Ricky Gervais is taking a break from making ‘em laugh about Charlie Sheen, God, Tom Cruise, and Hollywood. Now the outspoken comedian says there’s nothing funny about the U.S. federal government’s backing for chimpanzee experimentation — he’s leading an effort to save 14 chimpanzees recently moved to a Texas research laboratory for use in painful experiments.
“Scientists around the world are deeply concerned about the ethical and scientific problems associated with using humankind’s closest living genetic relatives in painful and invasive experiments,” writes Gervais in his letter to the director to the National Institutes of Health. "Over the past few decades, we’ve learned that chimpanzees are astonishingly smart and deeply sensitive beings. That is a key reason why the United Kingdom banned licenses for experiments on chimpanzees more than a decade ago.
“Since then, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Belgium and other nations have also ended invasive chimpanzee experiments.
“I know that the US federal government is currently taking a hard look at the moral and scientific problems associated with chimpanzee experiments. In the meantime, it does not seem right to leave these 14 chimpanzees at Texas Biomed, where they continue to be used in invasive experiments.”
Rosie is one of the 14 chimpanzees whom Gervias is speaking up for. She was been chemically immobilized 99 times by laboratory workers. The 29-year-old chimpanzee had been granted a reprieve from testing – but then the government moved her back into a laboratory cage.
“These animals deserve better. Please do all you can to protect them from further experimentation and move them back to New Mexico.”
Gervais joins actress Kristin Bauer, actor Gene Hackman, Charlotte Ross and others across the country in speaking out on behalf of these animals.