Commend U.S. for Retiring Research Chimps

Target: Francis S. Collins, Ph.D, Director of the National Institutes of Health

Goal: Commend the U.S. for retiring most of the NIH’s chimpanzees to sanctuaries

The National Institutes of Health recently declared that it will soon begin retiring its chimpanzees and sending them to sanctuaries. This decision will not completely eradicate the use of chimps for medical research, but it is a critical step toward ending this practice.

NIH will retire a little over 300 of their chimps over the course of the next few years, but they will retain a group of less than 50 chimps in case of an emergency that would require their use for researching human health. These chimps will be better protected, however, because NIH will also enact new guidelines for research and for the overall care of research chimps.

This decision follows the results of a study started in 2010, when NIH director Dr. Francis S. Collins had NIH investigate the necessity of chimps in medical research. Chimpanzees have been the recipients of increased activism lately. Only a few weeks ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began considering placing captive chimpanzees on the endangered species list, which would mean that labs would need to acquire permits if they wanted to use them for research.

The NIH’s decision will give over 300 chimps a chance to live safe and healthy lives at sanctuaries across the country, and it will also provide for the protection of future research chimps. This is a step in a process that will change the way animal testing is conducted, and hopefully make it much less prevalent. Commend Director Collins for helping change the way medical research is conducted, and for saving chimpanzees.


Dear Dr. Collins,

The National Institutes of Health’s recent decision to retire most of its chimpanzees is a groundbreaking one in the world of medical research. Animal testing has always been a controversial subject, yet it has recently been becoming less and less popular. NIH’s decision will ensure that other countries, institutes, and companies will see that animal testing is not necessary. It will continue a cycle of influence that will hopefully create a safer world for animals everywhere.

Retiring the chimps to sanctuaries is a humane and caring act that deserves recognition. These animals will now be able to live comfortable, healthy lives with little fear of danger. Also, the new guidelines that will protect the remaining research chimpanzees will help ensure that those chimps are able to lead safer lives, too.

NIH has shown itself to be a leader in creating new standards for medical testing, and its recent actions deserve respect and applause. These sort of decisions will only become more common, and NIH deserves recognition for being one of the first institutes to help create a safer world.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The_Gut via Flickr

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  1. Evelyn Boeckman says:

    Let’s hope most of these chimps are freed in a shorter time than “the next few years”. The sooner the better for them.


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