Skip to content

Privately-Owned Chimpanzees Deserve Retirement Too!

Privately-Owned Chimpanzees Deserve Retirement Too!

Update: May 4, 2016

New Iberia Research Center to Retire 220 Chimpanzees

The University of Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center has announced that it will retire all of its 220 research chimpanzees to Project Chimps, a new sanctuary in Blue Ridge, Georgia. This is the first time a non-federal program has decided to retire all of its chimpanzees. New Iberia ended all invasive research on these chimpanzees in 2015.

Project Chimps is expected to accept its first residents as early as next month. The remaining chimpanzees, including Leo and Hercules, will be transferred in groups of up to 10 each over a period of two or more years. Congratulations to New Iberia for its decision to end invasive research on these chimpanzees—and for agreeing to subsidize their retirement to a sanctuary for the rest of their days.

With the retirement of New Iberia’s chimpanzees, 83 chimpanzees are still held in privately owned laboratories: 26 at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (Keeling Center) and 56 at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

The September 2015 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list all chimpanzees as an endangered species sets an even higher standard for the use of these animals for harmful protocols. This makes the use of chimpanzees costly and subject to new ethical criteria for their continued use. At the same time, many non-animal models are being developed that are more predictive in the kind of research that once relied on chimpanzees.

Now is the time to call upon the two remaining private laboratories to establish a plan to retire their chimpanzees to an accredited sanctuary in the U.S.  

Privately-owned Chimpanzees Deserve Retirement Too!

October 22, 2013

While hundreds of chimpanzees are now eligible for retirement under the new criteria established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and accepted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), hundreds of other chimpanzees are still subjected to invasive research at laboratories in the U.S. These laboratories or university research departments use chimpanzees that they own or that are owned by other private entities that are not reliant on grants from the federal government for the research they perform, thus making them exempt from the IOM criteria.

Most privately-owned chimpanzees used for research are owned by only four institutions: Michale E. Keeling Center, New Iberia Research Center, Southwest National Primate Research Center, and Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Some of these facilities house and use both privately-owned and federally-owned or supported animals, but only those laboratories supported by the federal government are subject to the IOM criteria and have been studied by the NIH Working Group to determine if protocols using chimpanzees should be continued. Once the federal chimpanzees have been removed and retired to a sanctuary, the remaining chimpanzees will continue to be subjected to their current protocols. Even more alarming is the prospect that these chimpanzees will be used for new protocols that will be even more harmful in an effort to make “full use” of animals that are expensive to use and to keep. That may mean that these chimpanzees would now be subjected to whatever research is proposed—however horrific—if the proposal is accompanied by sufficient monies to cover the cost of keeping chimpanzees no longer subsidized by the federal government.

The conclusion of the IOM is that most research conducted on chimpanzees is unnecessary and should be stopped. This should apply equally to research conducted in private facilities, yet those institutions are not obligated to comply with a matter that only applies to the federal government.

Call to action:

  1. Please join NAVS in letting these facilities know that research should be stopped on chimpanzees because all chimpanzees should be retired, regardless of who “owns” them.
  2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

Recipients

  • Dr. Christian Abee
  • DR. R. Paul Johnson

Contact

*Required fields
 

If you take action and have not already registered, you will receive periodic updates and communications from National Anti-Vivisection Society.

Message

Please retire ALL chimpanzees used for invasive research

Dear [Decision Maker],

As you know, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has accepted, new criteria for the use of chimpanzees for both invasive and behavioral research that is resulting in the retirement of all of their chimpanzees used for invasive research. It is my belief that this should apply equally to research conducted in private facilities as well as research funded by federal taxpayer money.

Furthermore, the September 2015 decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list all chimpanzees as an endangered species sets an even higher standard for the use of these animals for harmful protocols, making the use of chimpanzees costly and subject to new ethical criteria for their continued use. At the same time, many non-animal models are being developed that are more predictive in the kind of research that once relied on chimpanzees.

A sound investment in the future is an investment that does not rely on an animal model for disease when so many better choices exist now and will only get better in the future. Please consider the retirement of your remaining chimpanzees to a sanctuary where they can live out the remainder of their lives in a more natural and social setting after years of service to humankind.

Thank you for your consideration,

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]