Medical Research Chimpanzees to be Released
Animal activists are hoping for this to be true and concrete. They are applauding The National Institutes of Health for planning to end the medical research tests carried out on chimpanzees by the government. The ones behind this movement truly believe that these chimps “deserve special respect” as they are human´s closest relatives.
Close to 310 chimpanzees will be taken out of government owned research labs in the next couple of years. Unfortunately some will have to be left behind but will be used only if crucial medical research and advances calls for it and if such tests cannot be carried out in any other alternate way.
"These amazing animals have taught us a great deal already," said NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
The Institute of Medicine came to the conclusion in 2011 that the invasive medical research performed on chimps could not be justified any longer. The United States is among the few countries that still perform tests on chimpanzees and the NIH is now moving towards a more compassionate treatment towards these fellows that are so much alike to us.
If indeed any future research has to be carried out on chimpanzees under NIH funds, it will be done after a strict control that the conditions for such research to take place are the right ones. The ones that will be left behind on retainer will be reassessed five years from now to make sure they are still needed there.
"This is an historic moment and major turning point for chimpanzees in laboratories, some who have been languishing in concrete housing for over 50 years," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "It is crucial now to ensure that the release of hundreds of chimpanzees to sanctuary becomes a reality."
Chimp Haven is one of the places being considered to relocate the 150 chimps that are to be released although it´s still unclear if that is their definite location. Chimp Haven is a national sanctuary where these little fellows can be social with other chimps, enjoy climbing trees and explore the different play grounds that they have available to them. This place however will not be able to hold all of the chimpanzees being released as it lacks space to do so. For now, other possibilities are being taken into account however no place has been formally stated.
Other negotiations taking place are in regards to how much money the NIH can spend for the transport of these chimps into the sanctuary system. The hopes are that the money that was being used to house them while they remained at the medical research labs will be now used to facilitate their relocation.
"Everybody should understand this is not something that is going to happen quickly," Collins cautioned.
Recently the Fish and Wildlife Service made a statement to protect this wonderful species as they were now catalogued as endangered. This fact alone triggered the NIH´s call to release the chimps into a sanctuary that will care for them until their last days giving them the respect they were born to have.
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