June 26, 2013 • Posted in Project R&R News
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a heavily anticipated decision today to retire nearly 90% of its chimpanzees. However, NEAVS believes its decision to keep a “reserve” population of up to 50 for “future potential research” is unscientific and unnecessary.
“Though we praise NIH’s decision to retire most of its chimpanzees, the decision to keep a reserve population flies in the face of scientific evidence establishing how chimpanzees have not been, are not, and would not be needed,” says New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) President Theodora Capaldo, EdD.
Read the full text of NIH's decision here.
After lengthy study and testimony from scientists and government officials, the nation’s highest scientific body, the Institute of Medicine, declared in 2011 that chimpanzees are not necessary in current medical research; that “the present trajectory of scientific research indicates a decreasing need for the use of chimpanzees”; and acknowledged “past use fails to predict future necessity.”
“More and more researchers are acknowledging the limitations and dangers of the animal model, in particular the waste of lives, time, and dollars using chimpanzees has been,” says Capaldo. “Pointing to a minuscule number of advances in areas for which they are no longer needed – stemming from such a vast amount of resources and chimpanzee suffering – and using this as justification for claiming there may someday be a future need for chimpanzees, is an argument without scientific merit.”
NIH’s decision, which will retire hundreds of chimpanzees, is a milestone in NEAVS’ Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Laboratories, a campaign to end all use of chimpanzees in U.S. research begun in 2004. Today, we celebrate with the chimpanzees and all the other animal protection organizations, sanctuaries, and individuals who helped make this possible. Soon hundreds more chimpanzees will live the rest of their lives without threat of invasive research.
NEAVS is now committed to making certain none of the chimpanzees held in reserve will ever be used in invasive research and that all privately owned chimpanzees still in labs are also retired.
NEAVS WANTS TO THANK EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR SUPPORTERS AND DONORS FOR HELPING TO ACCOMPLISH THIS PRECEDENT-SETTING VICTORY FOR NOT ONLY CHIMPANZEES, BUT FOR ALL ANIMALS IN LABS.
Please watch for our eALERTS and updates on our website over the next several weeks and months for more specific information about this exciting news and for how you can help.