WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Many NIH chimpanzees will soon be retired.
After many recommendations had been made to the NIH Chimpanzee Management Program, the organization has decided to reduce the number of chimps used for biomedical research.
NIH has decided that although Americans have benefited greatly from the use of chimpanzee research, newer technologies have made their use not fully necessary. Of the 360 chimps owned and avaliable for research, NIH will keep up to 50. However, they will be carefully selected based on certain research projects that meet Institute of Medicines (IOM) principles for NIH funding.
For the chimps who will still be a part of NIH biomedical testing, the organization plans to provide ethnologically appropriate facilities, so the chimps can live in an area which resembles their natural habitat. They will establish a panel which will analyze research projects and evaluate the necessity of testing on chimps. NIH will also start to wind down projects involving chimps which do not meet IOM principles.
NIH is working with congress to generate more funds for the Federal Sanctuary System to take care of current and future retired chimps.