Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is unnecessary"

At last, our federal government understands: A chimpanzee should no more live in a laboratory than a human should live in a phone booth. A plan unveiled today by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) means that we're joining the rest of the modern world and taking concrete steps to end cruel and archaic experiments on the 900 chimpanzees currently locked in U.S. laboratories.

At a historic meeting this afternoon, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee recommended that the agency cut funding for seven of the nine current taxpayer-funded grants for biomedical experiments on chimpanzees and fully or partially cut funding for 12 of 13 behavioral studies. With regard to the fate of these 360 NIH-owned chimpanzees, the committee stated that "the majority of NIH-owned chimpanzees should be designated for retirement and transferred to the federal sanctuary system. Planning should start immediately ...."
You may recall that last month, NIH also announced plans to retire to an accredited sanctuary more than 100 additional federally owned chimpanzees from Louisiana's notorious New Iberia Research Center.

NIH's monumental moves follow the landmark 2011 finding of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that "most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is unnecessary." After the release of that report, NIH formed a committee to determine, among other things, which taxpayer-funded projects should be cut off and how many chimpanzees should be retired. PETA submitted recommendations calling for a complete end to experimentation on chimpanzees to both the IOM and NIH during these deliberations.

PETA will continue to press the government to end experimentation on chimpanzees entirely, as we have since 1986 and as has already been done in every other country aside from the tiny African nation of Gabon...

Kathy Guillermo
Senior Vice President
Laboratory Investigations Department

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