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The End of (Many) Chimp Studies

A National Institutes of Health working group recommends that the agency retire and transfer the majority of chimpanzees it owns to sanctuaries. A small colony, it adds, should be retained for future research that meets certain ethical criteria and living conditions standards, as laid out by the December 2011 Institute of Medicine report, and that is reviewed by an independent committee. "Clearly there is going to be a reduction in the use of chimps in research," says K. C. Kent Lloyd, a veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, and a chair of the working group, according to ScienceInsider. "I don't believe that will be at the cost of research advances."

The group also reviewed a number of projects in progress using chimpanzees, including 13 comparative genomics or behavioral research studies. Of those, the group says that eight of those studies were recommended to continue or provisionally allowed to continue; two of those eight were comparative genomics or proteomics studies. The other projects, the group says, should end.

A 60-day comment period is now open on the report.