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Great ape protection act

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The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810), which would prohibit the use of chimpanzees in medical research, may be voted on in the Senate this week (it was approved by a Senate committee in July). The purpose of this act is to phase out invasive research on great apes and the use of Federal funding of that research, both in and outside of the United States. All existing chimpanzee protocols must be terminated within three years of passing of the bill, and once the bill has been passed, no new chimpanzee experiments may be started. It seems premature to pass an act banning research on chimpanzees. These animals are needed for testing anti-HCV therapies and vaccines, and it is not yet clear if other animal models will replace chimpanzees. It seems prudent to wait until we have a suitable animal model for HCV (and other infectious and non-infectious diseases which currently require chimpanzees).
 
 

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