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NIH Retiring 86% Of Research Chimps

(ANIMAL RESEARCH) In a move that would nearly put an end to government research on chimpanzees as soon as this March, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is proposing to retire all but 50 of the remaining 360 chimpanzees currently being used for federally funded research. The panel has recommended phasing out all current biomedical research grants involving research chimps, banning chimpanzee breeding, and retiring the chimps to sanctuaries such as Chimp Haven—the only sanctuary that receives government funding to care for government owned chimps. Read on to learn more about this victory and, while the NIH is currently accepting public comments on the matter, be sure to make your voice heard. — Global Animal
chimpanzees retired from research

Photo Credit: via Ecorazzi.com

ABC News, Barbara Schmitt

Chimp Haven, outside Shreveport, La., welcomed seven research chimpanzees into their new home, a move that came on the heels of an NIH proposal that recommends all but 50 of the 360 chimpanzees currently being used in federally funded research be retired.

The recommendation would effectively end most biomedical research projects in the U.S. that involve chimpanzees. The remaining colony of 50 chimps would primarily be used for behavioral research.

The National Institutes of Health formed the committee following a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine that found most biomedical research involving chimps was unnecessary. The committee also suggests major cuts to grants for studying chimps in laboratories, as well as ceasing to breed them for research, and it sets a high bar for research involving the remaining chimps.

The recommendations were celebrated by animal rights groups that have made efforts to put an end to animal testing. “We’re certainly pleased that the United States has finally joined the rest of the world in ending the national disgrace that is the experimentation on chimpanzees,” said Justin Goodman, director of laboratory investigations for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Chimpanzees probe a new termite mound with sticks. Photo Credit: Chimp Haven

Chimpanzees probe a new termite mound with sticks. Photo Credit: Chimp Haven

The recommendations are now in a procedural stage that allows for public comment during the next 60 days, at the end of which the NIH director will make an announcement on whether the government agency will implement the changes.

In the meantime, Chimp Haven, the only federally approved animal retirement sanctuary in the country, is preparing for the announcement, expected some time in March. The haven is already caring for 109 retired federally owned chimps, and officials there are proceeding under the assumption the NIH will implement the recommendation.

“If there are more chimpanzees the government deems ready for retirement, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to be able to take them in and take care of them and give them the humane care that they deserve,” Karen Allen, Chimp Haven’s national advancement director, told ABC News.

The move to end most research projects using chimpanzees will have limited to no impact on bio medical research according to the NIH CoC. At a press conference yesterday, the group’s co-chair, Dr. Daniel Geschwind, noted there are “…other animal models and other ways of doing the studies that might be more efficient, that wouldn’t require the chimpanzees.”

The seven chimps that arrived today join 109 federally owned chimps that already call Chimp Haven home. Under its contract with the government, Chimp Haven is responsible for 25% of costs associated with caring for retired chimps and is currently raising $2.5 million to meet that demand. The government is responsible for the other 75%; it’s unclear where the NIH will get those funds if the proposal is implemented.

More ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/nih-recommends-retiring-chimpanzees-federally-funded-research/

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One Response to NIH Retiring 86% Of Research Chimps

  1. Avatar of Kat Parker
    Kat Parker January 26, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Good for the chimpanzees, for sure, but I foresee a bad moon on the rise for other enslaved animal prisoners and future victims of these whitecoat “legal and federally funded” terrorists who must now “replace the chimps” and take up the void left in these depraved human monsters’ never-ending hunger for more federal money aka senseless, unnecessary cruel “experiments”. So, they will be replaced by MORE of what this organization, NIH, has self-proclaimed to be the next animal in their chain of what’s dispensable and further from human.
    If you thought they would just cease to do the “experiments” they once did on chimps, think again. It is all about the money to them, and they will continue to spend it on anything they can, i.e. other animals. They will just use a different kind of primate, perhaps double, or triple their orders of bred to torture beagles, the next time, or born to suffer and die felines. I wager the same number of animals’ lives will be wasted as before. Just that chimpanzee’s good fortune now equates to the serious misfortunes of other animals, in reality; After all, other animal models will be more efficient, less costly. I am sure in their eyes [the “researchers”] it is win-win. (Uuuugghhh!!!!!)

    “The move to end most research projects using chimpanzees will have limited to no impact on bio medical research according to the NIH CoC. At a press conference yesterday, the group’s co-chair, Dr. Daniel Geschwind, noted there are “…other animal models and other ways of doing the studies that might be more efficient, that wouldn’t require the chimpanzees.”