Scientists have a proposal to retire all but 50 research chimpanzees kept in US federal labs. The primates would be sent to 'Chimp Haven,' a new chimp sanctuary in Louisiana. Animal rights activists applaud the move.
(AP Photo/Chimp Haven, Naomi Lopez-Bauman)
Government scientists have agreed that all but 50 of hundreds of chimpanzees kept for federally funded research should be retired from labs and sent to a national sanctuary.
The proposal from a National Institutes of Health committee also said all of the chimps should have plenty of room to play and climb.
The NIH Council of Councils Working Group on Tuesday approved the proposal, which also calls for major cuts in grants to study chimps in laboratories and no return to breeding them for research.
Already, nine chimpanzees arrived Tuesday at Chimp Haven outside Shreveport, La., from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center, which no longer has an NIH chimp research contract. Seven more are expected Thursday and another 95 will arrive over the coming months, sanctuary officials said.