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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Government Scientists Call For Retiring Chimps

In this February 2012 photograph provided by Chimp Haven Inc., a retirement home for research chimpanzees in Shreveport, La., Flora, 29, rests with her two-day-old baby. (Chimp Haven Inc./Amy Fultz)

In this February 2012 photograph provided by Chimp Haven Inc., a retirement home for research chimpanzees in Shreveport, La., Flora, 29, rests with her two-day-old baby. (Chimp Haven Inc./Amy Fultz)

An advisory group that counsels the National Institutes of Health is recommending that the agency retire all but 50 of the 360 chimpanzees kept for research in federally funded labs.

It’s also calling for major cuts in grants to study chimps, and an end to breeding the animals for research.

And it has strict new rules for the treatment of chimps that remain in federally funded lab.

The NIH is taking public comment on the recommendation for the next 60 days. A final decision is expected in March.

But some chimps have already arrived at Chimp Haven, an animal sanctuary near Shreveport, La.

Animal rights groups have long been pushing for this. PETA activists have said that chimps no more belong in a lab than people belong in phone booths.

Guest:

  • Jennifer Whitaker, vice-president of Chimp Haven.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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