New Jane Goodall Institute of Canada Research Shows Majority of Canadians Willing to Act to Protect Our Closest Animal Relatives

Canadians want end to use of live chimpanzees in entertainment

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - As the eyes of Canada are on the entertainment industry with the close of the Toronto International Film Festival and the launch of the fall TV season, new research conducted on behalf of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada (JGI Canada) shows that almost two thirds of Canadians (nearly 66%) support a change in policy regarding the use of chimpanzees in entertainment, requiring commercial interests to use computer graphics rather than live chimpanzees. The national poll, conducted by Nanos Research, also revealed that nearly 70 percent of Canadians are likely or somewhat likely to act themselves by changing a purchasing decision to help support the protection of habitat for chimpanzees (41.5 percent and 27.4 percent respectively).

This new information about how Canadians see chimpanzees also coincides with the arrival in Canada of world-famous primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall on September 15. During her visit to Canada, Dr. Goodall will speak at a number of public events and help launch a new sustainable, organic coffee called the Jane Goodall Institute Blend. Sales of the new coffee will support the efforts of JGI Canada to protect habitat for chimpanzees and other wildlife species. The blend has been developed in partnership with the Fresh Coffee Network and will be available at select Toronto Loblaws locations.

"Chimpanzees are our closest animal relatives yet they are critically endangered, threatened by habitat loss and the illegal bushmeat trade which sees them hunted and eaten for food," said Jane Lawton, CEO, JGI Canada. "The use of an endangered wild species like this for our entertainment is both inappropriate and inherently inhumane. We were thrilled to hear that Canadians are willing to act in support of the protection of chimpanzees both in the wild and here in Canada."

Public awareness around the issue of using chimpanzees in entertainment is gaining ground. In February 2012 the Jane Goodall Institute ran a successful campaign that resulted in thousands of US and Canadian citizens signing petitions against their use in Superbowl commercials.

Other survey highlights include:

  • While 70.2 percent of Canadians are concerned (38.3 percent) or somewhat concerned (31.9 percent) about chimpanzees becoming extinct, surprisingly, more than half of Canadians are not sure whether chimpanzees are endangered (27.8 percent), or believe that they are not endangered (19.1 percent). 
  • Only 12.2 percent of Canadians know that a wide, toothy grin in a chimpanzee, often depicted in advertising or entertainment, is a sign of fear. The majority of Canadians is unsure (29.3 percent) or thought the opposite, that a chimpanzee is expressing happiness (26.1 percent).
  • People in BC were the most likely (48.7 percent likely and 25 percent somewhat likely) to change a purchasing decision to help support the protection of chimpanzee habitat followed closely by people in Ontario (45.9 percent likely and 23.5 percent somewhat likely).
  • Youth ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to support the use of computer graphics over live chimpanzees (74.3 percent).

Research methodology: National random telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and over conducted between September 4th and 9th, 2012. Accurate ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada (JGI) was founded in 1994 and is part of a dynamic network of Jane Goodall Institutes around the world.  JGI supports habitat conservation and chimpanzee protection programs in Africa and runs Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots here in Canada - a powerful, global program that inspires and empowers youth to be active global citizens who can take action to create sustainable and positive change.  To learn more please visit JaneGoodall.ca

SOURCE: Jane Goodall Institute of Canada

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Responsible Communications
Kathleen Powderley
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