Steve-O may be known for tough stunts but he recently revealed a soft spot for chimpanzees: the star is asking Sen. Barbara Boxer to support legislation that will spare chimpanzees in the United States from painful, invasive experiments and release hundreds of chimpanzees to sanctuaries.
“Many people know me as the guy who intentionally harmed himself over and over on the show Jackass,” Steve-O writes in a letter to Sen. Boxer. “But I am actually very serious about some things—including protecting chimpanzees and other animals from being intentionally harmed.”
Steve-O joins several celebrities – including Alec Baldwin, Kristin Bauer, James Franco, and Ellen DeGeneres – who wrote to Congress in support of this bill. More than 175 U.S. lawmakers have signed on as cosponsors. The bill, the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, will help chimpanzees retire to sanctuaries, advance medical research, and also trim millions of dollars from the federal budget. Many other countries—from the U.K. to Japan to New Zealand—have prohibited chimpanzee experimentation.
Monica Seles, former world No. 1 professional tennis player and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, recently wrote U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and asked them co-sponsor the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.
“I’m writing because you have a unique opportunity to advance medical research in the United States and help retire chimpanzees from laboratory cages to sanctuaries,” she wrote. “The bill will also help trim unnecessary spending as close to 80 percent of chimpanzees are not even being used in active experiments. That’s because so many researchers have come to the conclusion that chimpanzees are not good models for human diseases. This important legislation will save a third of a billion dollars in just a decade. It will help shift these funds to modern, advanced research methods that are the best bet for discovering treatments for HIV, hepatitis C, and other diseases affecting humans.”
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