(Washington Post) Nearly three years after the National Institutes of Health announced that hundreds of chimpanzees held for invasive medical experiments would be retired to a sanctuary, relatively few have been so lucky. Only seven made the trip in all of 2015.
The controversial delay has kept the primates, which were previously subjected to tests and deliberately infected with diseases such as hepatitis, captive in Texas and New Mexico laboratories. Some chimps have grown elderly and died there, in pens averaging 25 square feet.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins vowed in June 2013 that about 350 chimpanzees at the labs would be retired to Chimp Haven near Shreveport, La. Last November, he went even further, announcing that a last remaining colony of 50 research primates would be retired to the same sanctuary because “there is no justification” for continuing to hold them.
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