Last of NIH Chimpanzees to Be Retired

On November 18, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it would retire all of its remaining chimpanzees used for research and relocate them to sanctuaries. In 2013, as a result of a report by the Institute of Medicine, the NIH had retired most of its chimpanzees (about 310), but maintained 50 for use in future research. Since then, only one proposal had been submitted to use the chimpanzees, and it was withdrawn.

In addition, the NIH will begin phasing out support for research on those chimpanzees not owned, but supported by the NIH. The announcement did not indicate a timeline to move the chimpanzees to sanctuaries or the means by which they would be supported for the rest of their lives—but this decision, coupled with their recent designation as an endangered species, effectively ends all invasive research with chimpanzees.