U.S. sanctuaries with chimpanzees

Chimp Haven

Dr. Linda Brent, Director
Chimp Haven
13600 Chimpanzee Place
Keithville, LA 71047
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Chimp Haven is the first and, so far, only facility awarded a contract under the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection Act (CHIMP Act). In 2000, the CHIMP Act was signed into law, creating a system for the retirement of “surplus” government-owned chimpanzees no longer needed for research. Formerly, to be eligible for government funding, a facility had to agree to certain conditions, including the return of chimpanzees to research if deemed necessary by the head of the Department of Health and Human Services. However, in December of 2007, the CHIMP Act was finally amended with the passage of the “Chimp Haven is Home” Act. This critical amendment now secures the permanent placement of all chimpanzees “retired” to facilities that accept federal funding, such as Chimp Haven.

Chimp Haven provides “lifetime care for chimpanzees who have been retired from medical research, the entertainment industry, or no longer wanted as pets.” The sanctuary received 90 percent of the costs to establish the facility from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the remaining 10 percent from private donations. It will continue to receive 75 percent of its operating costs from NIH with the remaining 25 percent raised from private donations. As of 2011, 161 chimpanzees have been retired to Chimp Haven under the CHIMP Act. The facility currently houses 132 chimpanzees.

The Board of Directors for Chimp Haven includes primate researchers and veterinarians. Their current chairman, Thomas Butler, DVM, MS, is a nonhuman primate veterinarian. Dr. Butler was formally the head of the Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio. Dr. Butler also worked with the U.S. Air Force in its chimpanzee research at Holloman Air Force Base.

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