Good news for more than 100 chimpanzees owned by the federal government.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. said new technologies have reduced the need for the chimps' continued use in research.
"We are grateful to all of the organizations that have pulled together to help us transition these animals into formal retirement," Collins said.
The Humane Society of the United States applauded the decision.
"This is a ray of light for captive chimpanzees," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS. "NIH has worked diligently to see that the federally owned chimps at New Iberia Research Center will be sent to a world-class sanctuary, and The Humane Society of the United States is pleased to fund a portion of the construction costs at this facility."
Chimp Haven is home to 106 federally owned chimpanzees that have been retired from medical research. The Federal Sanctuary System was established in 2002 by the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act and Chimp Haven operates the Federal Sanctuary System, which is overseen by NIH.
New Iberia Research Center was the site of a 9-month HSUS undercover investigation, the results of which were released in 2009.
The HSUS, Chimp Haven, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, an independent, non-profit public charity, have launched coordinated fundraising campaigns to support the project and raise additional funds for construction and care for the animals.
The HSUS says they are contributing $500,000 toward needed funding for the animals.
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