My name is Brandon Wood and I've been trying to save chimpanzees from research ever since I learned how chimps are treated in labs when I was 9 years old. Now I'm 12, and I'm so excited that the National Institutes of Health is finally talking about ending experiments on chimpanzees. I'm really happy for the chimps owned by the government, but I can't stop thinking about the hundreds of chimpanzees stuck in private labs for experiments paid for by drug companies like Merck.
The US is the only developed country that still experiments on chimpanzees. Lots of studies have shown that research on chimps is unnecessary, so scientists should focus on the more effective kinds of research that don't hurt chimpanzees. Not only are the tests painful and unnecessary, but the chimps are kept in really bad conditions, stuck in cages as small as my kitchen table for their whole lives.
Some drug companies, like Gilead Sciences, have already promised not to use chimpanzees. Merck says they care about animal welfare, and they're a huge company that can make a big difference in ending chimpanzee research for good if they tell everyone that they don't need to run painful tests on chimpanzees any more. If the government has done it, so can Merck.
Chimps are my favorite animals. Please help me and my mom save them from experiments by asking Merck to promise not to test on them anymore.
The US is the only developed country that continues to perform invasive research on chimpanzees. Although the NIH proposal will go a long way toward ending chimpanzee research, hundreds of chimpanzees remain in private labs. As a leader in the pharmaceutical industry, your commitment to not using chimpanzees in research will help convince the private laboratories to retire their remaining chimpanzees to sanctuaries and instead focus their resources on more effective, humane research.
Please make a public commitment to not use chimpanzees for any future research and development.