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September 24 2012

NIH Decision Signals the Beginning of the End for Medical Research on Chimps

With the retirement of 110 government-owned chimpanzees, the end of medical research on man’s closest living relative may be near.

Today, the National Institutes of Health announced that all of its chimps now living at the New Iberia Research Center would be permanently removed from the research population.

Long criticized by animal advocates for mistreating animals and illegally breeding chimps, New Iberia operates the largest research chimp colony in the United States and is a bastion of a practice abandoned in every other country.

“This is a major message from the NIH: that this era is coming to an end,” said John Pippin of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an animal advocacy group. “This is huge.”

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