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article imageChimp retirement delayed

By Tim Sandle     Nov 2, 2013 in Science
The sixty NIH chimpanzees that were set to enjoy their remaining years at a sanctuary in Louisiana will have to wait a little longer due to "budgetary problems."
Digital Journal has covered the issue of U.S. research chimps several times over the past two years. Most recently, in June 2013, we reported that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a heavily-anticipated decision to retire nearly 90 percent of its chimpanzees. This was centered on a the Council of Councils, a federal advisory group, report called "Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity."
However, the news has since come in that government inaction has delayed the retirement of sixty NIH research chimps. Specifically, the lack of an appropriations bill has delayed needed tweaks to the Chimp Act, which caps the amount of money the NIH can dedicate to the care of its sanctuary-housed chimps at $30 million.
Despite there being wide bipartisan support for amending the law, somehow the permission slip got lost during the mess that was the government shutdown.
Describing the background, Kathy Hudson, NIH Deputy Director for Science, Outreach and Policy, told ABC News that: "We have hit this wall, and we need this fixed, or else come mid- to end-November, we will not be able to pay Chimp Haven to take care of these animals. Scientifically, ethically, and economically, that is a bad idea."
In the meantime, the chimps will need to wait a little longer to reach their retirement home.
More about Chimps, Chimpanzee, Research, animal experiments
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