A huge victory for chimpanzees

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The National Institutes of Health has announced it will largely end the practice of experimenting on chimpanzees for government medical research.

The Associated Press quoted NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins as saying:

“These amazing animals have taught us a great deal already” He said the decision helps usher in “a compassionate era.”

The AP offered another quote stating – humans’ closest relatives “deserve special respect.”

And the article noted the Fish and Wildlife Service called for protections for all chimpanzees two weeks ago – even those in captivity. Over the next few years, the NIH plans to retire approximately 310 “government-owned” chimpanzees from research studies. But 50 will continued to be held for other studies.

I hope the following important paragraph from article is another sign that the health and welfare of these chimps will be closely monitored:

Any future biomedical research funded by the NIH with chimps, government-owned or not, would be allowed only under strict conditions after review by a special advisory board. In five years, the NIH will reassess if even that group of 50 government-owned apes still is needed for science.

I received a release today from the Humane Society of the US, reporting 50 of these chimpanzees have been transported from New Iberia Research Center to Chimp Haven, The National Chimpanzee Sanctuary.

The following video highlights the work of Chimp Haven. The segments showing some of them experiencing the outside world for the first time is incredibly moving.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic