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NIH Retires Chimpanzees

Victory! NIH Retires More than 100 Chimpanzees to Sanctuary

More than 100 federally owned chimpanzees are about to retire after years in laboratory confinement. The National Institutes of Health will send the chimpanzees from New Iberia Research Center to the Chimp Haven federal sanctuary.

Chimp HavenInitially, NIH planned to transfer just 10 of the chimpanzees to Chimp Haven in Louisiana and send the rest to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, a laboratory that was fined more than $25,000 for violating the Animal Welfare Act. PCRM government affairs director Elizabeth Kucinich instead called for them to be transferred to a sanctuary. Kucinich immediately rallied members of Congress and other organizations to create and support a plan to ensure the animals’ permanent safety.

Last year, an Institute of Medicine committee charged with examining the necessity of chimpanzee experimentation could not find a single area of health research for which chimpanzees are essential. At its first meeting, PCRM director of academic affairs John Pippin, M.D., was asked by the Institute of Medicine panel to testify on the use of human-based research methods and other high-tech alternatives to replace chimpanzees in medical research.

Ending chimpanzee experiments will not only save animals considerable misery. It will also save millions in taxpayer dollars. The United States is the last country in the world that permits large-scale confinement of chimpanzees in laboratories for use in invasive research.

Take Action: Ask Johns Hopkins to Stop Using Animals for Training

PCRM is pushing Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to stop using live animals in its classes. Twenty years ago, live animals were commonly used in physiology, pharmacology, and surgery classes at medical schools. A standard laboratory involved anesthetizing a dog, then injecting pharmaceuticals or practicing surgical techniques. After the class, the animal was killed.

Most medical schools have abandoned the practice, but a few switched to pigs or other animals, hoping that students and the public would no longer object. Students in Johns Hopkins’ surgery clerkship practice procedures by cutting into live pigs. Many physicians have objected, pointing out that Johns Hopkins already has a high-tech simulation center and could easily replace the use of pigs with simulators.

Please send an e-mail to Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels and politely urge him to stop using live animals as teaching tools. Go to


Good Medicine Magazine

Good Medicine
Winter 2013
Vol. XXII, No. 1

Good Medicine

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