About R&R

About R&R



Beautiful Jeannie Chimpanzee
Photo: © Fauna Foundation

Project R&R is committed to continuing to raise awareness and secure the release of all chimpanzees remaining in U.S. labs into sanctuary.

Project R&R successfully led the charge to end the use of chimpanzees in U.S. biomedical research and testing. Our focus is now on providing former laboratory chimpanzees release and restitution in sanctuary. Project R&R achieved its goal for a worldwide end to harmful, invasive, and lethal research on all great apes in the U.S.—the largest holding of chimpanzees for use in research in the world.

Chimpanzees, our closest genetic relatives, share approximately 96-98% of our DNA. In their intelligence, social and family life, and complex emotions, we see ourselves. Yet chimpanzees in U.S. labs endured a life filled with suffering, fear, and abject boredom—in most cases, for decades, even their entire lives. While hundreds have been released, some still remain in labs, which are reluctant to give them up because of the still-lucrative housing and maintenance grants they are awarded; and, because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) refuses to release federal dollars to expand the capacity of our federal sanctuary. It is up to us, the caring public, to help expand existing sanctuary space, build new facilities and provide for the chimps’ lifetime care. While NIH provides a portion of the funding for federally “retired” chimpanzees, hundreds of others rely on the generosity of the public to help provide for their lifetime care.

Donating to the NEAVS Sanctuary Fund assures you every penny of your donation goes to the sanctuaries willing to take more chimpanzees and committed to providing the highest standards of care and quality of life to their residents. 

577 chimpanzees—waiting

As of Spring 2017, 577 chimpanzees remain confined in U.S. laboratories. Some were wild-caught as babies in Africa; others were born in a lab or sent from zoos, circuses, and animal trainers. Some were taught to communicate using sign language or raised in family settings—only to be sent into biomedical experimentation when funding ran out or when they became too strong to manage. For all of them, life in a lab means confinement, fear, suffering, and endless boredom.

Unethical science

Betrayed by their next of kin—humans—chimpanzees have been left in an ethical blind spot. Each chimpanzee has a special face, personality, and story. Those who have survived laboratories and have been placed in sanctuary, give us a glimpse into their individuality and the suffering we have erroneously sanctioned.

Unnecessary science

Time and time again, chimpanzee research has shown to be unnecessary and even dangerous to human medical advances. The scientific community is in debate about the efficacy of chimpanzee research to study human health and disease.

Although chimpanzees have 96-98 percent of the same DNA as humans, we now know that they—like all other species who are used to study human health and disease—differ significantly from humans. These differences can result in crucial disparities in the way disease occurs or progresses in chimpanzees and humans, and in how we respond to drugs and treatments.

Chimpanzeess as ambassadors 

NEAVS, the nonprofit behind Project R&R, has long advocated that the scientific code of ethics for research be expanded to include non-human species. Achieving that goal will take years. But one species—the chimpanzee, increasingly acknowledged as so “like us”—is in a unique position to lead the way now with your help.

"Chimpanzees suffer no less, I promise you." 
-Jen Feuerstein, former Yerkes Primate Research Center caregiver

"The incident made a deep impression on me. I vowed never again to experiment with such sensitive creatures."
-Dr. Christiaan Barnard, world’s first human-to-human heart transplant surgeon after killing a chimpanzee to use as a heart donor

As ambassadors between humans and other animals, chimpanzees can open the door to greater compassion for all non-human species whose lives and wills are destroyed in the name of science.

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