Great Ape research ban
A Great Ape research ban, or severe restrictions on the use of non-human great apes in research, is currently in place in the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Austria. In Austria, as the only country in the world, even experiments on lesser apes, the gibbons, are completely banned too.
These countries have ruled that chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans are cognitively so similar to humans that using them as test subjects is unethical. Announcing the UK’s ban in 1986, the British Home Secretary said: "[T]his is a matter of morality. The cognitive and behavioural characteristics and qualities of these animals mean it is unethical to treat them as expendable for research." Britain continues to use other primates in laboratories, such as macaques and marmosets.
The United States is the world's largest user of chimpanzees for biomedical research, with approximately 1,300 individuals currently in U.S. labs. A Washington-state group called Ban Ape Research (BAR) is campaigning to enact an ordinance in Seattle that would prohibit non-human great-ape experiments in that city, which would be the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to take this step.
In 2006 the permanency of the UK ban was questioned by Colin Blakemore, head of the Medical Research Council. Blakemore, while stressing he saw no "immediate need" to lift the ban, argued "that under certain circumstances, such as the emergence of a lethal pandemic virus that only affected the great apes, including man, then experiments on chimps, orang-utans and even gorillas may become necessary." The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection described Blakemore's stance as "backward-looking." 
- Great Ape personhood
- Declaration on Great Apes
- Great Ape Project
- Animal liberation movement
- Animal testing
The great apes
|Extant genera||Pongo · Gorilla · Pan · Homo|
|Extant species||Bornean Orangutan · Sumatran Orangutan · Western Gorilla · Eastern Gorilla · Common Chimpanzee · Bonobo · Human|
|Great ape study||Aquatic ape hypothesis · Ape language · Ape Trust · Goodall · Chimpanzee genome project · Human genome project|
|Legal status||Personhood · Research ban · Declaration · Kinshasa Declaration · Great Ape Project · Survival Project|
|See also...||Bushmeat · Ape extinction · List of notable apes · Human evolution|