Under an earlier ruling from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, effective as of today, it is now against the law to harm, harass, kill or cause injury to chimps, both in captivity and in the wild. The significance of this classification is beyond measure for hundreds of chimps used in biomedical research across the United States, who from this moment forward, have been given reprieve from their lives of misery. Research labs were given the opportunity to apply for exceptions, but none chose to do so.
Prior to this ruling, the U.S. was the only developed country where chimps were still used as laboratory test animals, subjected to painful procedures and denied the most basic semblance of a normal life. Now, many, if not all of these animals will be sent into retirement at sanctuaries.