We’ve had some good news today marking a new step towards humanity and compassion, as we’ve seen several chimps finally released from NIH. The National Institutes of Health of the U.S. announced their decision of letting chimpanzees retire from the hard life of testing.
This happened in the light of several protection laws being modified as to offer more thought to the animals used ruthlessly for the testing of medicine, make-up industry and so on. The Academy of Medicine of the U.S. also recommended the measure. The decision was made public last Wednesday.
The director of the NIH, Francis Collins, declared that we have to come to terms with the fact that we need to understand the risks we put those animals through. He also added that the vaccine for Ebola has already been tested, and no further investigations are necessary on animals.
About 310 of the chimps have been retired in 2013, marking the start of a five year process. The last fifty have been just released. They have been kept as a last resort in case of a health emergency.
However, as in all cases, some critics made their voices heard. Their explanation is that we should always keep a few chimpanzees in case a new pathogen appears and that we need to be prepared for disasters.
This might come as a surprise to some, but chimpanzees are an endangered species. However, until 2015, the ones who were in captivity were only listed as threatened. In this aspect, the NIH declared that they will end animal testing on chimps since the biomedical research is finished.
The Biomedical Research Foundation president, Frankie Trull, argued that this might be not in the interest of public health.
There are still some laboratories which use chimpanzees for the research of non-invasive behavior. These chimps will be moved to Keithville, LA to the Chimp Haven. The spokeswoman for Merck, Caroline Lappetito, stated that given the evolution of science, animal testing is no longer necessary.
Last but not least, the Service for Fish and Wildlife has granted protection in June for the chimps as they are endangered. Furthermore, all researchers who want to conduct experiments on the animals will need special permits to conduct their studies.
The chimps finally released from NIH will finally have a time to rest and enjoy the rest of their lives in a sanctuary, and we can only hope that other species will also be spared from their suffering, be it laboratories, circuses or zoos.
Image Source: www.pixabay.com