NIH to Retire Most of Its Chimpanzees from Research

On June 26, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) embraced nearly all of the recommendations regarding chimpanzees in research contained in the report of the Working Group of the Council of Councils (see Winter 2013 AWI Quarterly). The announcement by NIH Director Francis Collins, heralded by humanitarians, included plans to retire more than 300 chimpanzees, who represent the vast majority of chimpanzees owned or supported by the agency. NIH will retain, but not breed, up to 50 chimpanzees who may be used in research in the future. Any further NIH-funded research on chimpanzees will be subject to rigorous review in addition to peer-review, and the animals are to be housed in ethologically appropriate facilities.