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Chimps' Retirement

Some 110 chimpanzees from a US National Institutes of Health facility are making a new home at Chimp Haven, a sanctuary in Louisiana, the Nature News blog reports.

Following a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine, NIH announced that because of advances in research and technology most chimpanzee research was no longer necessary and that the majority of its chimps would be retired to federal sanctuaries. Nature News also notes that an undercover video investigation by the Humane Society of the United States had found instances of mistreatment at the New Iberia Research Center where these newly retired chimps were previously living.

NIH said that about 310 of its chimps would be retired but that a group of about 50 chimps would remain available for certain biomedical research that meets the criteria set forth by the IOM. Some behavioral, immunological, hepatitis C, and genomics studies appear to meet those guidelines.