The U.S. and Gabon are the only nations that allow medical research on chimpanzees. The National Institutes of Health wants to change that.
From the Mother Nature Network, by John Platt
The use of chimpanzees in medical research, already seriously waning in recent years, would decline even further under new rules
proposed Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The United States and Gabon are currently the only nations that allow medical research to be conducted on chimpanzees.
The NIH is already in the process of retiring many of its 400-plus research chimps — in fact, nine apes moved to a new sanctuary
in Louisiana just this week — but the new rules would retire even more animals and place strict limits on further research.
Although all chimpanzee species and subspecies are listed as endangered and face declining populations, the apes have long held a special distinction
under the Endangered Species Act, which allowed them to be bred in captivity and used for science or exhibition as long as new apes were not imported into the country. Some scientists predict that wild chimpanzees could go extinct in the next few decades.
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