NIH May Soon Retire Almost All Its Research Chimps

New recommendations would keep just 50 on hand
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2013 1:19 PM CST
NIH May Soon Retire Almost All Its Research Chimps
This 2009 photo shows "Jamie," a chimpanzee who was owned as a pet and then sold to a medical research facility, at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest in Cle Elum, Wash.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – The National Institutes of Health could soon be letting most of its 451 research chimpanzees retire in sanctuaries, if new recommendations are put into effect. The NIH Council of Councils approved a report yesterday that unanimously recommends almost all the chimps should no longer be used for research, with just 50 being kept on hand for the possibility of new research (which would need to be approved by an independent committee). The NIH director will decide in late March whether to implement the recommendations, the New York Times reports.

The NIH started looking at its usage of chimps after a 2011 report said that most biomedical research using chimps isn't scientifically necessary, NPR reports. The recommendations also include guidelines for the 50 chimps who remain on hand: They must live in groups of seven or more, with at least 1,000 square feet per chimp and room to climb, and they must have outdoor access and food foraging opportunities. Says a PETA director: "At last, our federal government understands: a chimpanzee should no more live in a laboratory than a human should live in a phone booth." (Read more National Institutes of Health stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.