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Hundreds of chimps at the NIH await retirement. This US senator wants to help

The agency said 272 chimpanzees are still living in research facilities. NIH has suggested it could finish the transition by 2026. Sen. Cassidy wants it to move faster. His amendment would cut off funding for those labs unless the NIH comes up with a plan to retire all the chimps by the end of 2021.

IKE SWETLITZ: ‘United States Sen. Bill Cassidy is trying to help hundreds of chimpanzees enjoy an easy retirement in his home state of Louisiana. The Republican is pushing for an amendment to a major appropriations bill winding its way through Congress this week that would force the National Institutes of Health to make good on a 2015 promise to move all its chimps out of research facilities… Cassidy, along with co-sponsor Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), wants it to move faster. Their amendment would cut off funding for those labs unless the NIH comes up with a plan to retire all the chimps by the end of 2021…

Three years ago, NIH Director Francis Collins pledged to transfer the chimpanzees it owns or supports from laboratories to sanctuaries “as space is available and on a timescale that will allow for optimal transition.” But in a May report, the agency said 272 chimpanzees are still living in research facilities. NIH has suggested it could finish the transition by 2026… If Cassidy is successful, the chimps will likely head to retirement at Chimp Haven, a 200-acre plot of land in the northwest corner of Louisiana. According to its website, the federally funded facility provides the primates with “natural groundcover, trees, and climbing structures”.’ SOURCE…

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