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HOW HUNDREDS OF CHIMPANZEES WERE USELESS TORTURED

Posted in 08/10/2008


TO JEROM IN MEMORIUM

"Like every experiment with live animals, Jerom suffered a lot during the period that the disease was inoculated in his body. Without the use of medicines, not even to ease the pain, in order not to impact the experiment. I have been with Jerom in his last six months. I was his keeper and his nurse and observed his decline in the same way that I had already witnessed the life decline of a human friend who was victim of AIDS. My life was deeply affected by my experience with Jerom and his chimpanzees partners. I write in the name of Jerom because I was his witness. I write in his name because for me it represents something bigger that is printed in my memory and generates deep misery for  each the son, brother and patient that I have already lost and that makes me think, and leads me not to keep my mouth shut every time I heard about the latest cruelty acts practiced in the name of humanity and science."

"He was not a pride figure anymore. He as thin and desolated, his skull had no hair, his skin was pale, his eyes were tired, which reflected the fear and the fever that were destroying his body. He suffered every minute and of every possible way that a caged chimp is able to suffer, and then he died."

This is one of the testemonies of Rachel Weiss, who took care of Jerom at Yekes Primatology Centre, in Emory North-American University, where he was used to develop a vaccine for HIV that never worked. A few days after Jerom\’s death, Rachel abandoned his job at Yerkes torture centre (which still exists) and converted to an activist that is against the use of chimpanzees in medical researches.

R& R Project and NEAVS published, in September, a paper in the scientific magazine Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA –  vol 36 pp 381-428), that questions the North American government programme to develop a cure to AIDS during 25 years, which has been using chimpanzees as models to the disease research.

Millions of dollars have been spent by NIH (National Institute of Health) from United States and hundreds of chimpanzees have been inoculated with the virus, tortured and sacrificed since they were babies, for a vaccine that always failed, as long as chimpanzees do not respond to HIV virus in the same way as humans. The virus inoculated in a chimp\’s blood starts to decrease in a short period, and almost disappears without developing the disease. The North American scientific approach took 25 years to understand that they were wrong, and a lot of chimpanzees like Jerom were tortured, with no compassion, during this period.

As long as the cruelty against Jerom was not enough – he was inoculated when he was 2 years old and died 12 years after – he had been cremated in a box with no name, only with the number C499; after his death, his blood was inoculated in three other chimpanzees and fragments of his brains were inoculated in other chimps\’ brains, with no use at all.

This story of cruelty told by R&R Project should shame the scientific area and should make them think that this can not be repeated with any other live being.

Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President of GAP Project International