Abstract # 2963 Event # 74:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 03:05 PM-03:20 PM: Session 16 (Medallion Ballroom B) Oral Presentation


CURRENT LEGISLATIVE CHALLENGES FACING CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARIES IN THE UNITED STATES

A. D. Truitt1 and S. R. Ross2
1Primate Rescue Center, Inc., 2515 Bethel Road, Nicholasville, KY 40356-8199, USA, 2Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago
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Chimpanzees living in the United States are subject to a wide range of legislative oversight that regulates their care, transport, retirement and ownership.   These regulations are administered as widely as the international level (CITES) and as specifically as the municipal or county level (wild animal ordinances).  Sanctuaries house over 500 chimpanzees in the United States, from the pet, entertainment and biomedical industries, making them the second largest category behind research laboratories in this respect.  There is relatively little regulatory oversight for those privately selling or buying chimpanzees in this country.  Due in part to this lack of legislation, chimpanzees can be bought and sold on the open market in most states, a practice that inevitably ends in the need for long-term housing at a sanctuary when those chimpanzees become unmanageable.  In this talk, we will focus on the legislative challenges most directly affecting the operations of legitimate chimpanzee sanctuaries across the United States; those committed to the lifetime care of their charges; abstaining from commercial transactions of chimpanzees; and generally, not open to the visiting public.  These characteristics put sanctuaries in a unique position and in some cases, they are overlooked by standard regulating agencies.  A full understanding of the past, current and pending legislation affecting chimpanzees and the sanctuary community is necessary to facilitate growth and sustainability and ensure the long term wellbeing of these animals.