Animal Research News Roundup: December 22, 2023

The Rise for Animals Team, December 22, 2023

Here’s a roundup of this week’s biggest news stories related to animal research—all the recent media coverage you need to know right now to be the most effective activist for animals in labs. 

Chimps Can Still Remember Faces After a Quarter Century

Carl Zimmer, 12/18/2023

“In a study published on Monday, Dr. Lewis and her colleagues have demonstrated that chimpanzees and bonobos can recall faces of other apes that they have not seen for years. One bonobo recognized a face after 26 years – a record for facial memory beyond our species.”

“The experiment doesn’t put a limit on the duration of the animals’ memories. It is possible that they remember faces as long as we do.”

“Just how many other species have these long-lived memories is hard to say . . . dolphins can recognize the calls of other dolphins they have not heard for over 20 years. Dr. Bruck suspects that other long-lived animals that live in groups will also display impressive memories….”  Full Story →


What Would It Mean to Treat Animals Fairly?

Elizabeth Barber, 12/16/2023

“As in the seventies, much of [animal research] tries to model psychological ailments, despite scientists’ having written for decades that more research is needed to figure out whether animals–and what kinds of animals–provide a useful analogue for mental illness in humans. When Singer was first writing, a leading researcher created psychopathic monkeys by raising them in isolation, impregnating them with what he called a ‘rape rack,’ and studying how the mothers bashed their infants’ heads into the ground. In 2019, researchers were still putting animals through ‘prolonged stress’–trapping them in deep water, restraining them for long periods while subjecting them to the odor of a predator–to see if their subsequent behaviors evidenced P.T.S.D. (They wrote that more research was needed.)”

“Why [] do we not give them moral consideration? Singer’s answer is ‘speciesism,’ or ‘bias in favor of the interests of members of one’s own species.’ Like racism and sexism, speciesism denies equal consideration in order to maintain a status quo that is convenient for the oppressors.”  Full Story →


Brazoria City Council to Discuss Animal Facility

Sarah Vogelsong, 12/17/2023

“The [Brazoria, TX] city council will discuss the possible construction of [sic] Charles River Laboratories facility in Brazoria County to house purpose bred non-human primate laboratory animals during its meeting this week.”

“Earlier this year, Charles River Laboratories established a shell company called Kandurt . . . The company used the subsidiary to acquire about 540 acres of land in proximity to the San Bernard River and National Wildlife Refuge for its intended facility.”

“The company has not revealed publicly any specifics about its plans…”  Full Story →


Monkeys in Florida Descendants of Lab Escapees

Brandon Hansen, 12/12/2023

“In the shadow of the Ft. Lauderdale airport in Florida lives a troop of monkeys. They are vervet monkeys, and they are not native to Florida. They’re descendants of a group of African monkeys that escaped from a lab about 80 years ago.” 

“Missy Williams is a biologist who founded the Dania Beach Vervet Project, in hopes of caring for this out-of-place population.”

“‘Since they are nonnative we can’t release them. . . instead of being euthanized or given to another facility in the pet trade we are open to provide a very safe home for these animals in need,’ she told CBS News.”  Full Story →

You Can’t Gift Justice, But You Can Restore It

Rise for Animals, 12/20/2023

Justice isn’t a gift — it’s a right. Together, we can “help[] all sentient beings, whatever the species, to reconstruct society as a place of altruism, nonviolence, and compassion, rather than a place of self-interest, competition, and moral indifference.” Full Story → 

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