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More Than 100 NIH Chimpanzees Headed to Sanctuary (Update)

Written by PETA | December 19, 2012

Update: In 2015, following pressure from PETA and other animal advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that all captive chimpanzees would now be reclassified as “endangered,” effectively ending invasive experiments on our closest living genetic relatives. In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) promised to retire all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries. Sadly, since this announcement, few have been retired and many have died while waiting. Please urge NIH to retire these animals now!

Originally posted on September 23rd: 

More than 100 chimpanzees will soon be freed from laboratory cages after years of pressure by PETA and other animal protection groups led the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to announce that it will be permanently retiring all the federally “owned” chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, making them off limits for future experimentation.

The announcement follows a landmark report issued last year by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which concluded that “most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary.” In the wake of that report, NIH announced that it was suspending funding for any new experiments on chimpanzees and that it would be reevaluating currently funded experiments on chimpanzees.

It seems that NIH is making good on its promise.

PETA has campaigned for the release of chimpanzees from laboratories for decades. In addition to publicizing video footage showing the abuse of chimpanzees in laboratories, PETA successfully campaigned for the permanent retirement of the more than 200 chimpanzees held at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. We also submitted comments to and testified before the NAS, and we submitted official comments to NIH this spring outlining recommendations for the agency’s implementation of the NAS report, including calling for the retirement of all chimpanzees in laboratories.

While NIH’s announcement marks a tremendous step forward, hundreds more chimpanzees—in federally funded and private laboratories—must still be retired.

Commenting is closed.
  • Heidi says:

    What I would like to know is WHO is paying for those sanctuaries that have to take care of those retired animals for the remainder of their lives after they have been exploited by the NIH and other laboratories who profit greatly from the results they glean?? Is it the taxpayers or PETA and other animal rights groups that get funded via OUR donations?? I sure hope that NIH etc. will be held responsible and have to pay for their victims.

  • [email protected] says:

    What a triumph!!!! Truly thank God for PETA. It is great to see all our donations put to work this way. There is a sanctuary in Florida called Save the Chimps and specializes in taking in these terrorized and tortured animals. Together we make a difference.

  • Siraganda says:

    Dear Boyd Hore, this is not the end of all animal testing! This is the end of animal testing on chimpanzees! The other animals shall die for them now! For every chimp which is going out, a monkey, dog or cat is going in! Welcome to the speciesistic century thanks yo Misses Goodall and Peter Singer – the great speciesist, who thinks that just great apes deserve a better life!

  • Siraganda says:

    What is with the other animals in the NHI, continuously tortured to death, specially monkeys? This century shall be a speciesistic one! Thank you – Jane Goodall!!!

  • lina solima says:

    thankyou Peta this brings tears to my eyes, I still carnt believe the things that go on in this world the cruelty that animals have to endure, all to the stupity of the human race please keep up the work that you do, thanks for the safety of some of the chipanzees and god bless you and all our animals

  • boyd hore says:

    Lets all hope CHIMPANZEES are never used for any sort of experiment again , and this is the start of the END OF ALL ANIMAL TESTING .

  • valhalla says:

    Great news -but all the chimpanzee’s must be released,they have suffered so much -too much for the betterment?-of -man,these scientists who-sadistically torture these poor animals would have lost their-empathy-compassion-their humanity-their -souls- to do what they do -if we all had integrity -morals -scruples and was ‘True to ourselves’ or even one of these -attributes-this barbarism would not exist,

  • Kate says:

    Dawn, only 10 of these chimps will actually be going to a sanctuary, the other 100 are merely being relocated to another lab in TX and with a shoddy track record of primate care. While it’s great that NIH says they won’t be used for experimentation anymore what is the future plan for them? They are still counting on us. Please read the statements regarding this from the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) and Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SEAN).

  • Almut Elster says:

    All the evil we do against animals will come back to us – which will be cruel. DON’T FORGET THAT!!!

  • lisa says:

    Will believe when i see it.

  • Nicholas says:

    Good news. I’m happy for the chimps. Now they’ll have some freedom and safety.

  • Dawn says:

    Ahhh this is very happy news for me, my heart has been aching for all the beautiful chimpanzees who are being tortured and abused in America and other countries labratories. Finally freedom has come, and I wish I could be there to see them when they are set free in sanctuaries, there they can be chimpanzees and assuring them that the rest of their lives will be their best, Thank you PETA for all your work, and I will continue to help with my voice in urging the release of all 700 chimpanzees in labratories. That day will be glorious!



  • Eleanor DAvin says:

    Wonderful news in my email today. Thank PETA for rescuing the chimpanzees from laboratory experiments. They deserve a much better life and hopefully their misery will end soon.

  • Jill says:

    This just a good start alot more needs to be done. Why are they only sending 10 to freed and they others to be transfered to another lab? I would say this was not a victory but a good start. Remember all the other moinkeys and animals that still are tortured and abuse everyday. They should all be free!!! Thank you to PETA and all the activists that fight for them all.

  • David Enix says:

    If the “science community” really did believe that apaes are a close relative to humans (which I don’t-God really did create us all.), then why do they think they have the right to cage, experiment and abuse these mammals? They can’t do this to human mammals!

  • Tammy Williams says:

    Great news! Now let’s get the other out.

  • wendy little says:


  • Lilly Rose says:

    Awesome news! And great they admitted that “most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary.”I’m sure a lot of medical research going on now is not necessary either! Now, please, please free cats and dogs too, they are people’s pets. Hope you will soon win this battle! Thank you Peta!

  • margo says:

    I haven’t been able to sleep because of the funding NIH was giving to unnecessary “research.” But now I can relax more. Thanks Peta and all who support it!

  • Kathy says:


  • Jack says:

    This is great news to start off the weekend with! Thank you, PETA. You are making the world a better place.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Good news! Good news! Good news! Thank you, PETA, for your tireless efforts to help animals and for never giving up. Your organization has inspired me to face animal related issues that are heartbreaking, when it would be much more convenient to turn away. Your organization has armed me with information that I have been able to pass along to others who are not so passionate about animal related issues. Most importantly, you always provide information on what steps I can take to participate in the solution. And, when news comes along like this, you remind me what can be accomplished through persistence and dedication. Thank you for the wonderful news today!