May 1, 2006 • Posted in Project R&R News
Project R&R/NEAVS today submitted testimony to the Senate Committee on Appropriations to propose an end to federal funding for the breeding of chimpanzees for research or for projects that require breeding.
Among other salient facts, the testimony points to the high costs of chimpanzee lifetime care. Based on the existing chimpanzee population being supported by taxpayer funds (approximately 850 chimpanzee individuals), the lifetime care in labs is estimated at $1.85 billion. This figure does not include chimpanzees owned by private labs, many of whom are involved in research that is partially taxpayer funded.
In addition, although a voluntary breeding moratorium is in place, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) continues to fund research projects requiring breeding. For example, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) maintains a 10 year, $22 million contract with the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Louisiana to provide 10-12 chimpanzee infants annually for research.
This Senate testimony followed submission of testimony to the House Appropriations Committee. Efforts like these help set the stage for legislative advances. Members of Congress must be continually made aware of the dangers, expenses, inhumaneness, and public attitude toward the use of chimpanzees in research.