The National Institutes of Health has betrayed their commitment to retire all federally owned and supported chimpanzees to sanctuary. In 2018 the agency said it would create a new process to assess the health status of each chimpanzee in their facilities and only those few chimpanzees who were in extremely poor health would be kept in the laboratory instead of being retired to sanctuary at Chimp Haven. We had hoped that NIH would live up to that promise, but they have instead announced they will be transferring none of the remaining chimpanzees housed at the Alamogordo Primate Research Facility to sanctuary at Chimp Haven. This is unacceptable.
The NIH has an obligation under the CHIMP Act to send eligible chimpanzees to Chimp Haven, and it’s incredibly hard to believe that all the chimpanzees are all too sick to be transferred and given an opportunity to thrive in a sanctuary setting. In addition, the “independent panel” that made that determination simply wasn’t independent at all -- it did not include a primate behaviorist or ethicist or a veterinarian with sanctuary experience and instead was made up of three of NIH’s own veterinarians.
Forcing these animals to live out the rests of their lives, after they have already suffered so much, in a research facility is beyond the pale, and we demand NIH do better.
Please send a message to the National Institutes of Health urging them to hold a truly independent non-biased panel of chimpanzee experts and ethicists to review their decision to keep all of the remaining chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Research Facility instead of sending them to sanctuary.
These chimpanzees have already suffered too much at the hands of humans, it is our responsibility to give them the chance at a better life.