Policy News

Biomedical Research on Chimpanzees in the US May Halt

Published: Friday, 02 October 2015 16:02
Written by STEPS
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This year, no labs have applied for the required permits to conduct invasive research on chimpanzees in the US It is not clear whether this hiatus in biomedical research with chimpanzees is temporary or permanent. In 2013, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would slowly halt government-funded research using chimpanzees and transfer most of them to sanctuaries. Since then, invasive research on the animals has decreased. Researchers fear that NIH’s decision will have adverse impacts on biomedical research, as many disease-related experiments have been delayed or canceled. In addition, researchers worry that this may impact labs that perform solely behavioral research on chimpanzees. Though a permit is not required for this, any stress the animals face, even snipping hair, may introduce the requirement of a permit. Robert Lanford, the director of the South National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), believes that something will be negotiated in the future to allow invasive research to continue. In the meantime, labs are debating on where the chimpanzees should live. See:http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6250/777.summary