U.S. Will Not Back Future Chimpanzee Research
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has suspended all new grants for biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and accepted the first uniform criteria for assessing the necessity of such research, dramatically limiting the use of great apes as test subjects.
The guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health, and that there be no other way to accomplish it.
NIH director Dr. Francis S. Collins, said that chimpanzees, as the closest human relatives, deserve “special consideration and respect” and that the agency was accepting the recommendations released earlier in the day that concluded most research on chimpanzees was unnecessary.
Although the NIH announcement does not definitively rule out future research, it was hailed by wildlife conservation, rights and welfare groups that have been battling for decades to end chimpanzee experimentation.