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U.S. ends all scientific testing on chimpanzees: Primates to be freed from labs and sent to Chimp Haven

SCI & TECH
By Mirror | November 20th 2015

The U.S. National Institute of Health has announced that it will no longer carry out research using a colony of chimpanzees.

All its chimps will now be released from labs and sent to live at a shelter called Chimp Haven, where they can roam free.

A group of 50 chimps will now be "retired" following a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruling which said captive chimpanzees counted as endangered animals.

Francis H. Collins, NIH director, said no researchers had asked for permission to carry out tests on the primates, which indicated they were no longer required.

"Relocation of the chimpanzees to the Federal Sanctuary System will be conducted as space is available and on a timescale that will allow for optimal transition of each individual chimpanzee with careful consideration of their welfare, including their health and social grouping," he added.

In a statement, Chimp Haven said it was delighted with the "critical decision".

"We are thrilled with today’s announcement from the NIH to cease using all chimpanzees in research," the charity added.

"We applaud their acknowledgment that there is no further justification for keeping 50 chimpanzees in reserve for future research needs."

The primate protectors said a total of 300 chimps would be moving in following the NIH decision.

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