Animal Defenders International

 

Animal Defenders International

It's not too late to save a primate

Posted: 15 June 2005

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Chimpanzee numbers have dwindled from around 2 million at the beginning of the last century in 25 countries in West and Central Africa, to barely 150,000 today in 4 countries. ‘My Mate’s a Primate’, a new drive from Animal Defenders International (ADI) this summer, aims to save primates from extinction before it’s too late and protect their environment. The campaign has celebrity support from TV stars Alexei Sayle, Brian Blessed and Jenny Seagrove; pop star Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay; TV presenters Helen Chamberlain, Wendy Turner-Webster and BBC Radio 2 presenter Mark Radcliffe; animal campaigner Celia Hammond; and poet and author, Benjamin Zephaniah.

Ardent supporter Alexei Sayle said: “I abhor all cruelty to animals but ill-treatment of primates fills me with a special horror. They are so obviously related to us that we can be in no doubt that they can know fear, pain and suffering.”

Actress Jenny Seagrove added: “"The time has come for drastic action to save primates from their cruel fate. ‘My Mate’s a Primate’ needs our full support to champion the cause of these defenceless ‘cousins’ of ours and preserve the environment before it’s too late."

AUTUMN EDUCATION LAUNCH

The campaign steps up a gear in the autumn as a new educational drive begins to every school in the country when the academic year starts. Schools will be provided with all the campaign materials – a thought-provoking DVD documentary, which features TV star Alexei Sayle and ends with him ‘morphing into’ a chimpanzee, a full colour illustrated report and wall charts.

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Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI, says: “My Mate’s a Primate will be a huge drive over the next few years to end the abuse of primates. Our campaign will involve our celebrity supporters, political lobbying, undercover investigations, rescues and a massive awareness push. Our documentary with Alexei Sayle will be central to the education campaign in schools, which will be both inspirational and fun.”

THE REAL DR DOOLITTLE BACKS THE CAMPAIGN

World-renowned primatologist from Central Washington University, Professor Roger Fouts and his wife, Deborah, who have taught chimpanzees to use sign language, are also backing the campaign.

"Chimpanzees are people", says Professor Roger Fouts. “They are our closest relatives and share 98% of human genes with comparable intelligence and emotions.” As if to prove this, he reports how his chimps react as if they are human. For instance, if they are speaking to a human who cannot follow them, they will slow down their signals.

For over 40 years, the Foutses have communicated with chimpanzees using American Sign Language for the Deaf (ASL). They have shown in over 100 articles published in science journals on the subject, that chimpanzees can not only learn sign language, but also use it in conversations with people and other chimps. The chimpanzees have also passed these communication skills on to their children and have even invented their own contractions of the verbs we use.
OVERWHELMING ODDS

The primate campaign draws attention to the way we are encroaching on more and more of the planet. We consume, pollute, destroy – not only animals such as primates, but also their habitat. Our actions are having a devastating effect on our environment as the ‘empty forest’ syndrome in parts of Africa bears witness.

Primates are primarily found in tropical rainforests and play an important part in the ecosystem helping to disperse seeds and pollinate plants. Their removal in such huge numbers upsets the balance of nature and does untold damage to their habitat, and therefore, ultimately to our own survival. In order to change things new strategies are needed to rein in the commercial interests that are felling the forests and opening up roads in the jungle, which give hunters ready access to their prey.

WEIGHING UP THE EVIDENCE

The campaign highlights 4 major areas of concerns:

Bushmeat, wild animal meat, now poses the greatest threat to the existence of apes in the wild. Hunters are killing 6,000 western lowland gorillas, 15,000 chimpanzees and 7.5 million colobus monkeys for food each year in Africa and ADI has also exposed a thriving bushmeat trade in South America.

Entertainment using primates exploits them in a major way. Apes and monkeys are enslaved, chained and caged to make them perform for the camera, in shows and circuses. The chimpanzee’s smile, which you so often see in films, advertising or circuses, is actually a grimace of fear.

Experiments using animals, which scientific reports have shown produce misleading results, can actually hold up scientific progress. They are flawed because of the anatomical and physiological differences between species, in particular the differences in immune systems. The UK, with 4,799 primate experiments in 2003, is Europe’s largest user of laboratory monkeys. Globally an estimated 1.7 million primates are used in experiments each year.

The ‘exotic’ pet trade in rare and exotic animals, which has become a huge global business, valued at $12 billion a year. Europe is one of the world’s largest markets for wildlife and wildlife products, with demand for pets, fashion accessories, ornaments and medicines. Smuggling wildlife, including many endangered species, is now the third largest illegal cross-border activity after the arms and drug trades. Poachers are stealing an estimated 38 million animals a year from Brazil’s Amazon forests.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI, the organisation behind the campaign, said: “Chimpanzees in particular suffer greatly in the entertainment industry - both with travelling circuses and with suppliers of animals for the TV and movie industry. There is an inevitable level of coercion, deprivation, confinement, and lack of appropriate access to their own species.

"The great apes live in complex societies in which they show co-operation and compassion within their extended family. Yet performing animal suppliers require regular one on one human contact to ensure close control and obedience during performances. This means that social deprivation and stress are inevitable consequences of their use as performers as well as pets."

HOW YOUR READERS CAN HELP:

  • Support conservation, don’t buy primates as pets and ask your friends to do the same.
  • Don’t eat ‘exotic’ meats at restaurants, and tell the owner you don’t approve of eating wildlife.
  • Use recycled paper to sustain our forests and ask your friends to do the same.
  • Make sure that the wood in garden furniture and in other similar products is from a sustainable source and not from the rainforest.
  • See My Mate’s a Primate’ report on the campaign website, http://www.mymatesaprimate.org, and apply for a free action pack which includes campaign postcards, report and tips on a primate-friendly lifestyle.

________________________ENDS ________________________

For further information, for ADI, please contact: Allison Tuffrey Jones, ADI Press Office, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP on
Tel: 020 7630 9159
Mob: 07785 552548
Email: pr@ad-international.org

CELEBRITY SUPPORT:

"I abhor all cruelty to animals but ill-treatment of primates fills me with a special horror. They are so obviously related to us that we can be in no doubt that they can know fear, pain and suffering."
Alexei Sayle, comedian, author and TV star.

"The time has come for drastic action to save primates from their cruel fate. ‘My Mate’s a Primate’ needs our full support to champion the cause of these defenceless ‘cousins’ of ours and preserve the environment before it’s too late."
Jenny Seagrove, actress.

"I’d like to wish Animal Defenders International the best of luck with their new campaign. Protecting primates from abuse and the very real danger of extinction is a cause that deserves support and attention from the media and public alike."
Jamiroquai – Jay Kay, singer songwriter pop star.

"My Mate’s a Primate gives us a real chance to educate ourselves to change the world to save primates from extinction. They share our planet and as our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom, they deserve our respect and protection. Apart from anything, their plight and brutal removal from their habitat affects our whole ecosystem and ultimately, our survival. We hurt them and we hurt ourselves."
Helen Chamberlain, TV sports presenter.

"The pain and suffering we are capable of inflicting upon our fellow creatures makes one feel ashamed to be part of the human race! I find the use of primates in zoos, circuses and research laboratories absolutely sickening and urge everyone to support this vital Animal Defenders International’s campaign to bring about a better future for our wonderful ‘mates’."
Wendy Turner Webster, ‘Pet Rescue’ TV presenter.

“My mate’s a primate is yet another potent and imaginative campaign from Animal Defenders International helping to highlight the plight of some of our primate relatives. I fully endorse the campaign and all the work they do. Keep it up guys. The world’s wildlife would be at even greater risk without you".
Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Presenter of the Mark Radcliffe Show.

"I give my wholehearted support to Animal Defenders International’s campaign, which highlights the appalling cruelty meted out in so many different ways to these wonderful animals, which are so closely-related to man. When will we learn that we must share what’s left of this planet with our fellow creatures."
Celia Hammond, founder of Celia Hammond Animal Trust (C.H.A.T.) and animal welfare campaigner.

“I’m a primate. Let’s get together and protect my family.”
Benjamin Zephaniah, poet and author.

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL (ADI)
Founded in 1990 as the animal welfare and conservation wing of the NAVS (National Anti-Vivisection Society), Animal Defenders International (ADI) has now grown into a major international campaigning group in its own right. ADI lobbies on issues such as animals in circuses; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution. ADI involves itself in international animal rescues as well as educational work on animals, conservation and environment. In just over a decade, ADI has become a major force for animal protection and has succeeded through its undercover investigations in securing legal protection for animals. ADI’s evidence of the torment to animals has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them. http://www.ad-international.org

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI, says: “My Mate’s a Primate will be a huge drive over the next few years to end the abuse of primates. Our campaign will involve our celebrity supporters, political lobbying, undercover investigations, rescues and a massive awareness push. Our documentary with Alexei Sayle will be central to the education campaign in schools, which will be both inspirational and fun.”

THE REAL DR DOOLITTLE BACKS THE CAMPAIGN

World-renowned primatologist from Central Washington University, Professor Roger Fouts and his wife, Deborah, who have taught chimpanzees to use sign language, are also backing the campaign.

"Chimpanzees are people", says Professor Roger Fouts. “They are our closest relatives and share 98% of human genes with comparable intelligence and emotions.” As if to prove this, he reports how his chimps react as if they are human. For instance, if they are speaking to a human who cannot follow them, they will slow down their signals.

For over 40 years, the Foutses have communicated with chimpanzees using American Sign Language for the Deaf (ASL). They have shown in over 100 articles published in science journals on the subject, that chimpanzees can not only learn sign language, but also use it in conversations with people and other chimps. The chimpanzees have also passed these communication skills on to their children and have even invented their own contractions of the verbs we use.
OVERWHELMING ODDS

The primate campaign draws attention to the way we are encroaching on more and more of the planet. We consume, pollute, destroy – not only animals such as primates, but also their habitat. Our actions are having a devastating effect on our environment as the ‘empty forest’ syndrome in parts of Africa bears witness.

Primates are primarily found in tropical rainforests and play an important part in the ecosystem helping to disperse seeds and pollinate plants. Their removal in such huge numbers upsets the balance of nature and does untold damage to their habitat, and therefore, ultimately to our own survival. In order to change things new strategies are needed to rein in the commercial interests that are felling the forests and opening up roads in the jungle, which give hunters ready access to their prey.

WEIGHING UP THE EVIDENCE

The campaign highlights 4 major areas of concerns:

Bushmeat, wild animal meat, now poses the greatest threat to the existence of apes in the wild. Hunters are killing 6,000 western lowland gorillas, 15,000 chimpanzees and 7.5 million colobus monkeys for food each year in Africa and ADI has also exposed a thriving bushmeat trade in South America.

Entertainment using primates exploits them in a major way. Apes and monkeys are enslaved, chained and caged to make them perform for the camera, in shows and circuses. The chimpanzee’s smile, which you so often see in films, advertising or circuses, is actually a grimace of fear.

Experiments using animals, which scientific reports have shown produce misleading results, can actually hold up scientific progress. They are flawed because of the anatomical and physiological differences between species, in particular the differences in immune systems. The UK, with 4,799 primate experiments in 2003, is Europe’s largest user of laboratory monkeys. Globally an estimated 1.7 million primates are used in experiments each year.

The ‘exotic’ pet trade in rare and exotic animals, which has become a huge global business, valued at $12 billion a year. Europe is one of the world’s largest markets for wildlife and wildlife products, with demand for pets, fashion accessories, ornaments and medicines. Smuggling wildlife, including many endangered species, is now the third largest illegal cross-border activity after the arms and drug trades. Poachers are stealing an estimated 38 million animals a year from Brazil’s Amazon forests.

Jan Creamer, Chief Executive of ADI, the organisation behind the campaign, said: “Chimpanzees in particular suffer greatly in the entertainment industry - both with travelling circuses and with suppliers of animals for the TV and movie industry. There is an inevitable level of coercion, deprivation, confinement, and lack of appropriate access to their own species.

"The great apes live in complex societies in which they show co-operation and compassion within their extended family. Yet performing animal suppliers require regular one on one human contact to ensure close control and obedience during performances. This means that social deprivation and stress are inevitable consequences of their use as performers as well as pets."

HOW YOUR READERS CAN HELP:

  • Support conservation, don’t buy primates as pets and ask your friends to do the same.
  • Don’t eat ‘exotic’ meats at restaurants, and tell the owner you don’t approve of eating wildlife.
  • Use recycled paper to sustain our forests and ask your friends to do the same.
  • Make sure that the wood in garden furniture and in other similar products is from a sustainable source and not from the rainforest.
  • See My Mate’s a Primate’ report on the campaign website, http://www.mymatesaprimate.org, and apply for a free action pack which includes campaign postcards, report and tips on a primate-friendly lifestyle.

________________________ENDS ________________________

For further information, for ADI, please contact: Allison Tuffrey Jones, ADI Press Office, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP on
Tel: 020 7630 9159
Mob: 07785 552548
Email: pr@ad-international.org

CELEBRITY SUPPORT:

"I abhor all cruelty to animals but ill-treatment of primates fills me with a special horror. They are so obviously related to us that we can be in no doubt that they can know fear, pain and suffering."
Alexei Sayle, comedian, author and TV star.

"The time has come for drastic action to save primates from their cruel fate. ‘My Mate’s a Primate’ needs our full support to champion the cause of these defenceless ‘cousins’ of ours and preserve the environment before it’s too late."
Jenny Seagrove, actress.

"I’d like to wish Animal Defenders International the best of luck with their new campaign. Protecting primates from abuse and the very real danger of extinction is a cause that deserves support and attention from the media and public alike."
Jamiroquai – Jay Kay, singer songwriter pop star.

"My Mate’s a Primate gives us a real chance to educate ourselves to change the world to save primates from extinction. They share our planet and as our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom, they deserve our respect and protection. Apart from anything, their plight and brutal removal from their habitat affects our whole ecosystem and ultimately, our survival. We hurt them and we hurt ourselves."
Helen Chamberlain, TV sports presenter.

"The pain and suffering we are capable of inflicting upon our fellow creatures makes one feel ashamed to be part of the human race! I find the use of primates in zoos, circuses and research laboratories absolutely sickening and urge everyone to support this vital Animal Defenders International’s campaign to bring about a better future for our wonderful ‘mates’."
Wendy Turner Webster, ‘Pet Rescue’ TV presenter.

“My mate’s a primate is yet another potent and imaginative campaign from Animal Defenders International helping to highlight the plight of some of our primate relatives. I fully endorse the campaign and all the work they do. Keep it up guys. The world’s wildlife would be at even greater risk without you".
Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Presenter of the Mark Radcliffe Show.

"I give my wholehearted support to Animal Defenders International’s campaign, which highlights the appalling cruelty meted out in so many different ways to these wonderful animals, which are so closely-related to man. When will we learn that we must share what’s left of this planet with our fellow creatures."
Celia Hammond, founder of Celia Hammond Animal Trust (C.H.A.T.) and animal welfare campaigner.

“I’m a primate. Let’s get together and protect my family.”
Benjamin Zephaniah, poet and author.

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL (ADI)
Founded in 1990 as the animal welfare and conservation wing of the NAVS (National Anti-Vivisection Society), Animal Defenders International (ADI) has now grown into a major international campaigning group in its own right. ADI lobbies on issues such as animals in circuses; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution. ADI involves itself in international animal rescues as well as educational work on animals, conservation and environment. In just over a decade, ADI has become a major force for animal protection and has succeeded through its undercover investigations in securing legal protection for animals. ADI’s evidence of the torment to animals has led to campaigns and legislative action all over the world to protect them. http://www.ad-international.org

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