Following a long battle for their freedom, chimpanzees suffering in labs got a victory when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) formally announced it would be retiring most of the ones it owns or funds, but their freedom now hangs on the NIH's ability to spend money on their care in retirement.
In 2000, Congress passed the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection (CHIMP) Act, which mandated the establishment of a national sanctuary system to provide lifetime care for federally owned or supported chimpanzees who were retired or no longer needed for research.
However, the cap on the $30 million that was allocated for their care at the time will be hit this month and once it is reached the NIH won't have the necessary funds to move retired chimps to sanctuaries or care for the ones who are already there.
At the end of September Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced the CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013, which will allow the NIH to exceed the cap and shift money already allocated for their care in labs to caring for those in retirement. Moving the chimps won't just be good for them, but will also save money in the long run because caring for them at sanctuaries is less expensive than caring for them in labs.
Please sign the petition asking your representative to support this important legislation for chimpanzees who are still waiting in labs for their freedom.
As someone who is concerned with animal welfare and the fate of the chimpanzees who are being retired by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I am writing to ask you to support the CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013 (S. 1561).
The NIH's formal announcement that it would be retiring nearly all of the chimpanzees used in research was an amazing victory for these sensitive and intelligent creatures, but it was tempered by concerns about how their care would be funded.
Unfortunately, the cap on the $30 million that was allocated for their care in 2000 under the CHIMP Act will be hit this month and if measures aren't taken the NIH won't be able to fund chimps who are already at sanctuaries or move the ones who are still waiting.
This legislation will allow the NIH to exceed the $30 million cap that was set on spending in 2000 under the CHIMP Act and enable it to shift money already allocated for their care to caring for those in retirement.
Moving these chimps from labs into sanctuaries and providing for their care isn't just an ethically sound decision, but it will also save money in the long run because caring for them at sanctuaries is less expensive than caring for them in labs.
I sincerely hope you will act on behalf on chimpanzees who have spent lifetimes in cages and support this vital piece of legislation to give them the retirement and freedom they deserve.