This week, the US Fish and Wildlife service, at the request of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Humane society of the United States (HSUS), Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), and several other organizations announced that it will finally review its outdated classification system of chimpanzees.
Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), wild chimps are classified endangered, while captive chimps are classified as threatened. This small, but important distinction means that captive chimps are not afforded the same protection under federal law that other apes are. The result of which is hundreds of chimpanzees living in poor situations in private households as pets or working in the entertainment business under abusive conditions. Over the last year, AZA has worked together with HSUS and several other organizations to petition US Fish and Wildlife to reconsider this double classification and give chimps the protection they deserve. On August 31, 2011, the USF&W agreed that a status review in this matter is warranted. This means that they will research the issue and reconsider their status after hearing comments from all sides.
You can help captive chimpanzees. US Fish and Wildlife will be taking comments on this issue until October 31, 2011. Please consider sending a message in support of this important change. We can make a difference in the lives of chimps across the nation.
For information about the review go to:
To comment on the proposed change:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS–R9–ES–2010–0086]; or
- U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS–R9–ES–2010–0086]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.