Resolution in Support of Primate Research Centers Program

Approved by the Executive Committee in 1983

The American Society of Primatologists promotes and encourages the discovery and exchange of information regarding primates, including all aspects of their behavior, genetics, physiology, reproduction, conservation, husbandry, and use in biomedical research. The society acknowledges the important contributions to human health which result from studies of nonhuman primates. We recognize the value and importance of nonhuman primates and the necessity of maintaining the highest standards of animal care and welfare in their use. We support efforts to conserve wild populations of nonhuman primates in order to protect a vital natural resource, and we are dedicated to the proper care and treatment of nonhuman primates maintained for educational and scientific research purposes.

The American Society of Primatologists recognizes the Regional Primate Research Centers program of the National Institutes of Health, as dedicated to the highest standards of animal care. These programs have made substantial contributions to knowledge regarding breeding and proper care of captive animals. Other efforts are directed towards the conservation of natural habitats and field studies in countries of origin. Programs of international cooperation have been developed to conserve and propagate species of nonhuman primates. The primate centers have also made significant contributions to biomedical research directed at the major diseases of mankind. The conservative use of animals under proper supervision has characterized these programs from their inception.

Therefore, we cannot find merit in the charge of the Mobilization for Animals group which has been campaigning to reduce funding, curtail operation of and/or destroy this scientific resource. The American Society of Primatologists endorses the continued operation of the Primate Centers program and urges full support of its research programs. To combat these attempts to erode and eliminate this vital national resource, we encourage members of the scientific community and scientific societies to communicate their support to their representatives in Congress, to volunteer testimony before appropriate committees, and to make their views known to local and national media representatives.