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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Research Chimps Get New Caretakers
15 May 2001 7:00 pm
After a yearlong search, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found a new caretaker for nearly 300 chimpanzees once used in medical research. The decision is a mixed blessing for animal activists, who are pushing for the chimps to be released to a retirement sanctuary.
Animal-welfare groups have complained loudly about the chimps' current caretaker, the Coulston Foundation of Alamogordo, New Mexico. They charge that the privately owned foundation provides inadequate veterinary care and keeps its animals in unsafe conditions. The foundation has denied those charges. In 1999, Coulston settled one investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) into animal welfare violations (ScienceNOW, 2 September 1999) by agreeing to give up 300 of the approximately 600 chimpanzees the foundation then owned. NIH acquired 288 of Coulston's chimps last May and since then has conducted several unsuccessful searches for a caretaker.
NIH officials have confirmed that they plan to sign a 10-year, $42.8 million contract with Charles River Laboratories, a company based in Wilmington, Massachusetts. The corporation would assume care for the NIH-owned chimpanzees, most infected with HIV or hepatitis during NIH research, at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. No experiments will be conducted at Holloman, says Judith Vaitukaitis, director of NIH's National Center for Research Resources, although NIH-funded scientists interested in conducting research on the chimps may arrange for animals to be transported to other sites.
The new caretaker is a positive step, says Linda Brent, president of Chimp Haven, an organization in San Antonio, Texas, that hopes to build retirement sanctuaries for former research chimpanzees. "I am hopeful that in the future [the chimpanzees] will be able to be moved out [of research] and fully retired," she says.