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IOM Report Highlights Need to Pass Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act

The National Institutes of Health confirmed last month that chimpanzees residing at a nonresearch facility in Alamogordo, N.M., will stay put for now. The announcement came hours after the Institute of Medicine released its landmark report finding that chimpanzees are not needed to develop treatments for a wide range of human illnesses. The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act would permanently end chimpanzee experiments.

NIH also suspended all new grants for experiments on chimpanzees based on the report, which says that most current use of chimpanzees for biomedical research is unnecessary. Regarding hepatitis C research, for example, the report says, “The committee finds that chimpanzees are not necessary for HCV antiviral drug discovery and development and does not foresee the future necessity of the chimpanzee model in this area.” The report was written by a panel of scientific and medical experts convened by the Institute of Medicine at the request of Sens. Mark Udall, Jeff Bingaman, and Tom Harkin.

Media outlets across the country quoted PCRM director of academic affairs John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., about the report, including Wired, Nature, Scientific American, and The Miami Herald and other McClatchy newspapers.

Dr. Pippin and other experts from PCRM testified before the IOM during the seven-month report process, providing evidence on the scientific and ethical problems of chimpanzee use in invasive experiments.

For more than two years, PCRM has worked to keep the nearly 200 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility permanently out of experiments at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, in addition to our work to support passage of the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, bipartisan legislation which has support in the House and Senate, would phase out chimpanzee experiments and release federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries. It would also save taxpayers almost a third of a billion dollars over the next decade.

Laboratory environments cannot meet the needs of chimpanzees who experience pain, fear, and joy, just as humans do. Yet the United States is the only nation still using chimpanzees in large-scale invasive research. Other nations, including the European Union and Japan, no longer permit such cruel, ineffective, and unethical experiments.

To learn more about how you can help end chimpanzee experimentation, visit

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chimpanzee in sanctuary

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PCRM Online,
January 2012

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