Saturday, 21 November 2015

By freeing the chimps we become more human

"The National Institutes of Health will reduce its staff by 50 — chimpanzees.

The director of the nation’s biomedical research facility announced late Wednesday that the primates, the closest living relatives to humans, would no longer be needed to test experimental vaccines, drugs or other treatments. As a result, the remaining animals in the NIH’s chimp colony will be sent to sanctuaries to retire.

“It is clear that we’ve reached a tipping point,” Dr. Francis Collins explained in an open letter. “Effective immediately, NIH will no longer maintain a colony of 50 chimpanzees for future research.”

The decision, hailed by animal rights activists, was a long time coming. In 2010, the NIH said it had asked the Institute of Medicine to evaluate the agency’s need for chimpanzees to conduct “biomedical or behavioral research that will be needed for the advancement of the public’s health.”

Read the story in the Los Angeles Times

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