From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1996:

“We have raised 96% of the funds
for the Buckshire 12! It looks like they will
be here in March,” Primarily Primates secretary
Stephen Rene Tello told ANIMAL PEOP
L E at deadline. The Buckshire Eight, a
group of nonbreeding chimpanzees otherwise
destined for terminal research, became the
Buckshire 12 in January when the Buckshire
Corporation, eager to be out of the chimp
trade, offered to add four “prime breeder”
females to the group. “This meant we could
directly help prevent the breeding of chimps
for research,” explained Tello. It also meant
Primarily Primates needed to raise the funds to
build not just one more chimp enclosure, but
two. “Thanks to the direct efforts of Nancy
Abraham,” Tello added, “the Jacob Bleibteu
Foundation of New York agreed to fund a second
enclosure in its entirety.” That permits
“the largest retirement effort of its kind to
date,” said Tello. Primarily Primates still
needs support for the chimps’ ongoing care, at
POB 15306, San Antonio, TX 78212-8506.

The embattled University of
Washington Primate Field Station came
under fire again on January 3 when In
Defense of Animals filed complaints alleging
negligence in the November 19, 1995 dehydration
death of a monkey, whose caretakers
never saw that his water line was clogged.
The death came between a November 14 ANIMAL
PEOPLE inquiry to University of
Washington Regional Primate Center director
William Morton about previous deaths at the
same site of baboons and monkeys due to
dehydration, and the November 30 reply of
University of Washington Health Sciences and
Medical Affairs media relations coordinator
Laurie McHale, who admitted that the university
paid a penalty of $20,000 in settlement of
USDA charges re the earlier deaths, but said
the problems were solved, and did not mention
the November 19 death. As A N I M A L
PEOPLE went to press, neither McHale nor
Morton had answered a follow-up inquiry.
Confirming a rumor leaked to
Shirley McGreal of the International
Primate Protection League in October, published
in the November edition of A N I M A L
P E O P L E, Dr. Francis J. Novembre of the
Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center at
Emory University in Atlanta on January 30
announced that two chimpanzees at the center
have developed AIDS, 11 years after one of
them received the first of three injections of
the human HIV-1 virus. His first AIDS symptoms
appeared in March 1995. The second
chimp was given a blood transfusion from the
infected chimp, and soon developed AIDS as
well. The two are the first chimps known to
have contracted the human form of AIDS, to
which chimps previously seemed immune.
Responding to criticism of a policy
“against animal testing,” instead of a firm
cruelty-free policy, The Body Shop on
January 21 announced it has abandoned the socalled
five-year rolling rule exposed and
denounced by freelance Jon Entine in the
September and November 1994 editions of
ANIMAL PEOPLE. Under the rolling rule,
The Body Shop bought no product containing
ingredients that had been animal-tested within
five years. But as Entine pointed out, the typical
lag between product testing and product
marketing is often five years or longer. “We
have now frozen our ingredient purchasing
rule date at December 31, 1990,” said the
Body Shop release. The Body Shop also
pledged to “press the European Union to
impose the ‘in principle’ ban” on animal testing
of cosmetic products now scheduled to
take effect on January 1, 1998, and henceforth
disclose all testing protocols.
Ciba-Geigy, maker of the drug
Ritalin, widely prescribed for children with
alleged attention deficit disorder, on January
11 issued a bulletin advising 100,000 doctors
that Ritalin has been found to be carcinogenic
in mice, but arguing that the findings probably
can’t be extrapolated to humans.
The January 30 edition of the New
England Journal of Medicine reported that a
hormone which causes mice to lose weight
apparently doesn’t do the same in people. The
finding dashed hope that the hormone might
be synthesized in a weight control pill.
Researcher Mike Wilson of the
Scottish Crop Research Institute in Dundee,
Scotland, in early January announced a partnership
with the British firm Axis Genetics to
perfect a means of rapidly growing vaccines in
plants. People and animals in theory could
vaccinate themselves against disease by eating
vaccine-producing fruits, vegetables, or
leaves––a cheaper method than the present
method of culturing vaccines in animal hosts.
The January 12 edition of Science
reported that a panel representing 15 federal
agencies will in May publish a proposal to
form a permanent committee to oversee the
approval of nonanimal testing criteria, hoping
to win funding for the project in fiscal 1997.
Groundhog Day, February 2,
brought the media revelation that Cornell
University virologists are now using 300
groundhogs to investigate the treatment of
hepatitis and liver cancer. Groundhogs are
used because they tend to develop the diseases
within four years of life, 10% of the time they
usually take to appear in humans.
Virologist Jonathan S. Allan of the
Southwest Foundation for Biomedical
Research AIDS investigation team warned on
the January 20 New York Times op-ed page
that transplants from nonhuman primates to
humankind not only show little promise of
curing disease but, “could do more harm than
good. Organ implantation,” he wrote, “circumvents
most of the body’s barriers to infection.
That means that baboon viruses typically
though not to be infectious to humans, like
blood-borne or sexually transmitted pathogens,
would now be passed to the human body.”

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