Chimp Haven recieves AAALAC accreditation

I want to congratulate Chimp Haven for earning full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). This accreditation is the gold standard for animal care and Chimp Haven recieved “exemplary” status in more than half of the inspected areas, which included feeding and veterinary processes, maintenance, and administration.

I’m happy to be reading this good news, especially since Chimp Haven houses around 60 chimpanzees and plans to bring in 90 more individuals. They have a beautifully forrested habitat on 200 acres of land. This is excellent news because the care of great apes is a significant undertaking, believe me, and for them to literally pass with flying colors on this rare but pretiguous recognition is outstanding.

I wish them the best of luck on getting American Zoo and Aquarium Association certification.

3 thoughts on “Chimp Haven recieves AAALAC accreditation

  1. Although it is good to have accreditation, it is not always meaningful. I have worked in labs for many years, and places prepare for these inspections. I have worked in a horrid lab that got good inspections because they cleaned everything up for that day.

    I am not saying that Chimp Haven’s conditions are bad. I have been there and the chimps’ living conditions are not bad (by lab standards). However, the management is absolutely terrible, and accreditation does not consider that. There are so many problems with the management that it is impossible to list them here.

    • Half the staff has quit or been fired (some completely unjustly).
    • Chimps are put in situations where they are likely to be injured.
    • The care staff is understaffed.
    • The president of the organization, Linda Brent, is unaccountable to anyone for much of her behavior (power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely).
    • The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tom Butler, spent his career infecting chimps with diseases such as hepatitis and HIV and conducting other highly invasive research.

    And on and on. All of this less than one year since its grand opening. Unless the current management is replaced, Chimp Haven will continue to get worse. Chimp Haven should be a great place, but so far it is a profound disappointment. I fear for the chimps’ future.

  2. I just reread Chimp Haven’s announcement of their AAALAC accreditation.

    AAALAC commended Chimp Haven specifically for their “exceptionally well qualified, experienced, and dedicated staff.” About half of this well qualified staff has either quit or been fired in the past year, and some of those positions have been filled by people who have never worked with chimps.

    They were also commended for their “exceptional psychological well-being and environmental enrichment program.” In May 2006, the person who organized that whole program and kept it running was framed by one of her coworkers and wrongly fired (Chimp Haven gave no official reason for her termination, and the coworker is still there).

    I am not saying these things just to stir up trouble, but because there are a lot of questionable things going on with the Chimp Haven management. The popular media is not reporting these things, but the public, who pays for Chimp Haven, should know.

    The management problems have had a much more profound effect on the Chimp Haven staff so far than on the chimps. There are problems for the chimps, but they are only just becoming apparent. But this level of mismanagement will almost certainly permeate every aspect of the organization eventually if it is not addressed.

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