US gov't research chimps to retire, be sent to sanctuary
By Janet Mcconnaughey, APNEW ORLEANS--All but about 50 of hundreds of research chimpanzees belonging to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should be retired to the national sanctuary in northwest Louisiana, and all of them should have plenty of room to play and climb, an NIH committee recommended Tuesday.
January 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The NIH Council of Councils Working Group approved the proposal, which also calls for major cuts in grants to study chimps in laboratories and no return to breeding the great apes for research.
The federal agency said in 2011 that it would phase out most invasive research on chimpanzees. The new 86-page recommendation describes how chimpanzees should be kept and what will be needed for any future research. Chimps should be used only if there is no other way to study a threat to human health, and the research should be approved by an independent committee with members from the public, said the Council of Councils proposal, which will be sent to the NIH's director after a 60-day public-comment period.
Animal rights activists said they were pleased by the recommendations.
“At last, our federal government understands: A chimpanzee should no more live in a laboratory than a human should live in a phone booth,” the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement.