AWI Endorses Campaign to End Use of Great Apes in Film and Television

AWI reviewed with revulsion Serving a Life Sentence for Your Viewing Pleasure!, a recent report by the Chimpanzee Collaboratory that details the inherent cruelty of the use of great apes in film and television. AWI strongly supports the Collaboratory's call for an end to the use of great apes in such entertainment.

Chimpanzees and other great apes face remarkable pressure, as wild habitats are rapidly being destroyed by rapacious timber companies, and individual animals are slaughtered en masse for the trade in their flesh. In captivity, these primates are cruelly confined for experimental research in laboratories or used for public entertainment.

Captive chimpanzee "actors" are separated from their mothers at infancy, causing irreparable, long-term psychological damage, which is compounded by life in deplorable, dark, small cages. Great apes require significant environmental enrichment and mental stimulation. Chimpanzees in entertainment, however, are often housed in solitude, despite their natural drive to bond with conspecifics.

Horrifying tales of abusive training—punching, kicking, beating with rocks, sticks, and broom handles—reveal an industry that bases "training" on fear and physical and psychological domination. Such violence is reprehensible.

Current American Humane Association guidelines for the treatment of great apes in entertainment are remarkably deficient and fail to account for the animals' care throughout all aspects of production. The only answer is to prevent great apes from being placed in these dangerous conditions at all.

Read the report online at: www.chimpcollaboratory.org/projects/Chimp%20Collaboratory_Quark.pdf.