Time and time again, animal rights supporters have stated that a ban on animal research is the best solution for the animals. But is it really? Debora MacKenzie with New Scientist published an article today that answers that important question with a surprising answer.
In her story, “Ban on chimp testing puts wild ape vaccine for Ebola at risk,” MacKenzie points out the devastating toll of the Ebola virus on both humans and wild chimpanzees in Africa. After a 17 month outbreak claiming more than 11,000 victims, promising human trials are now underway across West Africa. But what about the apes? They too are susceptible to Ebola and according to the University of Cambridge, one third of the world’s gorilla population has been eradicated because of the virus, leaving the western lowland gorilla critically endangered. Thanks to research at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, an edible vaccination is in development to prevent apes from spreading Ebola to each other.
This research may end because of a long campaign by animal rights supporters. On September 15 a ban by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is set to begin on the use of captive chimpanzees in biomedical research.
To read the article and learn more about this important research and the impact of the ban, please click here.