NIH Must Reconsider Decision
The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NASPA) is calling on the National Institutes of Health to reconsider its decision announced today to move 100 chimpanzees from New Iberia to San Antonio rather than sending them to a legitimate sanctuary. While deeming them ineligible for research is a step forward, these chimpanzees are not being retired. They are simply being relocated from one research facility to another. These chimpanzees will continue to live in laboratory rather than sanctuary conditions, and they will continue to cost the taxpayers significant amounts of money.This decision about the chimpanzees’ future appears to have been made behind the back of the Council of Councils Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-­-Supported Research, which is currently tasked with determining the best placement for the government’s chimpanzees.Up until today, no NAPSA member sanctuary was asked to consider taking any of these chimpanzees, despite NAPSA’s repeated statements to the NIH that given appropriate funding (that will now instead fund the extraordinary overhead of a laboratory facility), the NAPSA community would secure a sanctuary solution for any chimpanzees the government seeks to permanently retire. Even today, after being rebuffed by the NIH once again, NAPSA reiterates its offer to work collaboratively with the NIH to retire chimpanzees from invasive research.Unlike in laboratory conditions, each NAPSA member sanctuary has seen measurable improvements in physical and psychological health of their chimpanzees retired from research or the pet and entertainment industries. Professionally operated sanctuaries are able to provide chimpanzees with the environment, social life, and care programs that they need.

Retirement of the chimpanzees to sanctuary is a more efficient use of taxpayer funds, and is the more humane and compassionate outcome for the chimpanzees.

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NAPSA was founded by the leaders of the chimpanzee sanctuary community in 2010. NAPSA is a professional working group of established sanctuaries that provide exceptional lifetime care to chimpanzees and other animals. NAPSA also serves as a central point of contact and expertise for issues relating to captive chimpanzees while working with interested parties to implement retirement of research, pet and entertainment chimpanzees. Each member sanctuary is a nonprofit organization licensed and inspected by the USDA (or Canadian equivalent) and accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. www.PrimateSanctuaries.org.

Member sanctuaries include: Center for Great Apes, Wauchula, FL; Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Cle Elum, WA; Chimp Haven, Keithville, LA; Chimps, Inc., Bend, OR; Fauna Foundation, Carignan, Quebec, Canada; Primate Rescue Center, Nicholasville, KY; Save the Chimps, Fort Pierce, FL.

CONTACT: Sarah Baeckler, 509-260-0770 or sarah@chimpsnw.org – Chair, Public Affairs Committee, NAPSA; Executive Director, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest