NIH: All but 50 research chimps should be retired

By By JANET McCONNAUGHEY

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A National Institutes of Health committee is recommending that all but about 50 of the agency's hundreds of research chimpanzees should be retired to the national sanctuary in northwest Louisiana, and that every chimp should have plenty of room to play and climb.

The NIH Council of Councils Working Group approved the proposal Tuesday. The agency's director will make a final decision following a 60-day public-comment period.

The council says chimpanzees should be kept in groups of at least seven, with about 1,000 square feet of outdoor space per chimp.

The NIH proposal also calls for major cuts in grants to study chimps in laboratories and an end to breeding the great apes for research.

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Online:

National Institutes of Health: http://dpcpsi.nih.gov/council/pdf/FNL_Report_WG_Chimpanzees.pdf

Chimp Haven: http://www.chimphaven.org/

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