Charla Nash, a woman who received a face transplant after she was horrifically attacked by her friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009, appeared in Washington, D.C. this week to publicly support legislation that would make it harder for people to keep primates as pets.
"What happened to me must never happen to anyone again," Nash said at press conference in the U.S. Capitol organized by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The legislation is question, championed by Sens. Barbara Boxer, David Vitter, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, would add non-human primates like chimps to amend a 100-year old law that bans interstate sales of some wild animals. Called the "Captive Primates Safety Act," the legislation aims to lower the number of chimps that are kept as pets in the U.S. for two reasons -- firstly to avoid another horrific incident like Nash's, and secondly to prevent chimps from being abandoned when they are too old to handle, which happen a lot.
Nash was attacked by a chimp named Travis, who was purchased in Missouri and transported to Connecticut where he was kept as a pet. Though her face transplant -- one of the first ever -- was a success, she was left blind and incapable of feeding or bathing herself. Nash talks about her struggle: