USA: 113 chimpanzees go to Sanctuary
NIH (North American National Health Institute) announced yesterday that 113 chimpanzees kept in the torture center of New Iberia Research Center, in Louisiana, will be transferred to federal sanctuary Chimp Haven, in recognition of all the environmentalists’ clamor around the world, who accuse NIH of not retiring its chimps definitely.
Project R & R, NEAVS, GAP Project and dozens of other organizations - who have denounced the double attitude of NIH stating that, theoretically, chimpanzees are retired, but does not send them to a sanctuary, and still continues to believe that some may return to medical torture - are pleased with this final attitude of NIH, which owns more than 600 chimpanzees used in medical experiments over the past 30 years.
A statement from Project R & R yesterday commented the announcement of NIH Scientific Director, Dr. Kathy Hudson, who made a public acknowledgment : "NIH and the U.S. government have the moral and legal responsibility for the lives of these chimpanzees."
The transfer of these 113 chimps will be held in two phases, with half being transferred in January 2013. This first phase will take six months to join groups with chimpanzees already living at Chimp Haven sanctuary. In the second phase, which should last 12-15 months and involves an investment of 2.3 million dollars in the construction of accommodation in the sanctuary, the remaining will be transferred.
Four of the most ill chimpanzees cannot be transferred, but their fragile health frees them of the use in medical research. Eight chimpanzees of this group of 113 are mothers with their children, who will be kept together.
That is the promise of NIH. Let's stay vigilant for it to be fulfilled. The end is still far away, there are still 488 other chimps that NIH and U.S. Government are owners and can return to medical torture if we are not alert and ready to mobilize the world for their lives.