NIH funding establishes a chimpanzee sanctuary

Bethesda, Maryland --The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today the award of a contract to Chimp Haven, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, to establish and operate a chimpanzee sanctuary. The sanctuary will provide lifetime care for Federally owned or supported chimpanzees that are no longer needed for biomedical research. The contractor will maintain high standards for quality care and ensure state-of-the-art treatment of the chimpanzees.

The ten-year, cost-sharing contract was awarded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of NIH. Over the term of the contract, NCRR will provide approximately $19 million in total costs, and Chimp Haven will contribute approximately $4 million toward direct costs. Chimp Haven was selected for the contract through a competitive, technical review process conducted by a group of outside experts in the fields of nonhuman primate management, behavioral sciences, and veterinary medical care.

"NCRR takes very seriously its responsibility for the health and welfare of research animals," said Dr. Judith Vaitukaitis, director of NCRR. "With this contract, our goal is to ensure that the highest level of humane care is provided to these animals, which have contributed to biomedical research. We are pleased that a contractor such as Chimp Haven has undertaken this important task and know from our interactions with them that they will show compassion for these chimpanzees and will ensure that the animals receive quality care and treatment."

Chimp Haven, Inc. will construct the new sanctuary near Shreveport, Louisiana, on land donated by county government. Separate from the contract funding, NCRR also will award a $5 million grant to Chimp Haven to support construction costs. The construction, which is expected to be completed in Spring 2004, will initially provide housing in a free-ranging environment for approximately 75 chimpanzees.

No invasive biomedical resear

Contact: Kathy Kaplan
NIH/National Center for Research Resources

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