Emily Deschanel has become the latest celebrity to write the National Institute of Health asking for a reprieve for 14 chimpanzees destined for medical testing.
The 14 aging chimps are being taken from the Alamogordo Primate Facility (a rehab and retirement facility for primates used in testing) to the Southwest National Primate Research Center.
The center, based in Texas, has a “long history of animal abuse” according to Deschanel’s letter.
“All of the Alamogordo chimpanzees have already been subjected to so much pain and suffering,” she writes. “Many of them were used in painful, invasive experiments for decades before being retired in Alamogordo. All of them…deserve to live out their lives in peace.”
Deschanel's pleas join similar views expressed in letters by Woody Harrelson and Pamela Anderson.
"Only in the last few years have they enjoyed bedding, fruit, toys, the touch and companionship of other chimpanzees, and freedom from the knife," wrote Harreson in late January. "Will you please return the 14 chimpanzees ... to these simple pleasures and allow them to continue the rehabilitation that they have more than earned?"
In December, Deschanel was honored by the Humane Society of the United States with the prestigious Humane Advocate Award.
“Emily is a true champion of the animal protection cause, who walks the walk and talks the talk both personally and professionally,” said The HSUS’ Beverly Kaskey. “Not only is she willing to actively speak out about the issues, but she has helped spotlight them in various episodes of Bones, thereby delivering an animal protection message to a huge primetime audience.”