Great Apes in America: Present Status and Future Prospects.
J. Erwin, K. Landon, and K. Smith, BIOQUAL, Inc., 9600 Medical Center Drive, Rockville,
Maryland, USA 20850-3336, and Foundation for Comparative and Conservation Biology,
Frostburg, Maryland USA.
Data will be presented on the captive population of great apes
in the USA, including bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. Current information
will be presented according to the type of holding institution (zoological garden,
research center, sanctuary, universities, or other). Examples will be given of the kinds
of research in which great apes are involved. These range from
language/communication/cognition studies to vaccine development research for viral
pneumonia, several kinds of viral hepatitis, and AIDS. Regulations regarding great ape
care and housing under the Animal Welfare Act will be described, along with additional
recommendations by special committees of the National Academy of Sciences. Examples of
housing conditions in zoos and research centers will be shown. Policies regarding the use
of chimpanzees in research will be described, including the status of prohibitions against
lethal or painful procedures. There is a perception that some of the chimpanzees in
research centers are surplus to research needs. The efforts of several organizations to
provide for the "surplus" individuals will be mentioned. The policy statement of
the American Society of Primatologists regarding long-term care of chimpanzees and their
involvement in research will be presented. Progress toward implementation of the ASP and
NAC/NRC recommendations will be described.The information presented was gathered in part
with support from NIH grant AG14308, the Great Ape Aging Project.
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