Wednesday, April 27, 2011

McClatchy | Chimps: Life in the Lab

This is a report from DawnWatch

It is especially gratifying to send out a DawnWatch alert when I have superb coverage to report. Today I write about a series published in the McClatchy newspapers. McClatchy is the third largest newspaper company in the US, publishing approximately thirty daily newspapers with a total daily circulation of over two million. McClatchy-owned newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and Raleigh's News & Observer. I will print the full list below so you can see if your local paper is among them.

McClatchy's investigative reporter, Chris Adams, has just released a three part series titled, "Chimps: Life in the Lab." It is a wonderfully detailed account of the lives of chimps in research, with arguments for but mostly against continuing to use them. The backdrop for the series is the current battle over the 180 chimps currently held at a federal primate facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, who the National Institutes of Health is attempting to send back into research. Adams shares records from the lives of some of those chimpanzees, such as Lennie, who has undergone spinal taps and a bone marrow biopsy, and spent his life in various cages, sometimes in isolation.

Adams explains:

"In Defense of Animals, an advocacy group, obtained the records after a five-year legal fight with the NIH. The group shared them exclusively with McClatchy with no strings attached; McClatchy conducted its own review of the records, which provide the most detailed look ever into the day-to-day life of chimp experimentation."

The three stories that form the "Chimps: Life in the Lab" series are titled:

"As Science Turns From Chimp Research, US Wants to Restart,"
"Some chimps never recover from stresses of research"
"Some lab chimps left with poor health, shortened lives"

You'll find them all on the McClatchy web site at

Both the Miami Herald and Kansas City Star are featuring the series today, Monday April 25, on their front pages, and many other papers are carrying the story.

I will paste a list of McClatchy Dailies below. If one of them is your local, please check your paper's site to see if they are carrying the chimp reports, and assuming so, please send an appreciative letter to the editor. We have an opportunity to keep this topic alive on the editorial pages, to let the media know that animal friendly coverage is appreciated and to let legislators (whose staff often keep an eye on letters pages as barometers of public opinion) know that Americans aren't proud to be the one country other than Gabon that still uses chimps in research. Our standout performance isn't limited to chimps: the European Union has banned testing on all animals for cosmetic purposes while in the United States that industry is alive and in fabulous shape. We have an opportunity, with our letters, to address all forms of animal testing, an industry which for too long has been blithely accepted by a trusting public.

If you have trouble locating the chimp stories in a search of your paper's website, or finding an address for a letter to the editor, don't hesitate to ask me for help. The site should have a tab on the front page (often at the very bottom) marked "contact us," which should lead you to a page that includes an email address or a link for letters to the editor.

Good luck!

You can send a note to Adams, thanking him for the superb report, at -- positive feedback for animal stories is always helpful -- but if his report on the chimps is indeed covered in your paper please do that only in addition to rather than as an alternative to a letter to the editor. Many smaller newspapers publish close to 100 percent of letters they receive so why not take this easy opportunity to speak up for the voiceless? Here's that list of McClatchy papers, which are likely to have the story:

Anchorage Daily News
The Beaufort Gazette
Belleville News-Democrat
The Bellingham Herald
Centre Daily Times
The Charlotte Observer
The Fresno Bee
The Herald (Bradenton)
The Herald (Rock Hill)
The Idaho Statesman
The Island Packet
The Kansas City Star
Lexington Herald-Leader
Merced Sun-Star
The Miami Herald
The Modesto Bee
The News & Observer
El Nuevo Herald
The Olathe News
The Olympian
The Sacramento Bee
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The State (Columbia, South Carolina)
Sun Herald (Biloxi, Mississippi)
Sun News (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)
The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington)
The Telegraph (Macon)
The San Luis Obispo Tribune
Tri-City Herald
Wichita Eagle

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts only if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line.)

McClatchy | Chimps: Life in the Lab

No comments:

Post a Comment