NPR: A working group put together by the National Institutes of Health says most of its chimps, currently living in research facilities, should be retired. The group’s report says the retired chimps should be sent to a sanctuary, a non-laboratory setting where chimps can lead more natural lives.
The group concludes only a small population of about 50 chimps need to be retained for any future research needs, with the animals living in social groups of at least seven. Those retained for research purposes should also have at least 1,000 square feet of living space, year-round access to the outdoors, as well as the ability to forage for food and build nests.
The group also says any proposed research should go through a review committee that includes members of the public.
Photo: A chimp is sedated to draw blood in efforts to find a cure for Hepatitis C, a potentially deadly virus, at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio Texas. (NBC News)