Copy of Letter to San Antonio Express-News

To the Editor, Express-News:

Pity the Express-News would indulge in puerile and tabloid-like sniping
at Friends of Animals, by dismissing its president’s endless work on
behalf of the primates and other animals as a “hatred of PETA”
(“Primarily problems at haven for primates”; 19 Nov).

Regarding several chimpanzees who arrived in San Antonio earlier this
year, PETA has supported sending them back to the lab they came from,
and now to Chimp Haven — an illusory haven indeed, for by law it must
serve as a holding area for the National Institutes of Health. The NIH’s
primary function, with regard to nonhuman primates, is regulating and
facilitating their use.

Readers ought to be given a clearer understanding as to the dynamics and
consequences involved when such a critical refuge as Primarily Primates
is disparaged rather than supported. What happens with this case says
much about whether the people of the United States will support true
sanctuaries, or instead condone the continued control of government
agencies and biomedical research firms over nonhuman great apes.

At Friends of Animals, we maintain that nonhuman apes were put on the
planet for reasons of their own. For that, we don’t expect to be
welcomed with open arms by everyone in the media, but we do expect
fairness and accuracy. This is especially important in the city that’s
been home to Primarily Primates for three decades.

Lee Hall
Legal director
Friends of Animals