Covering Louisiana

Nov 7, 2012 1:30 PM

Caddo board votes Thursday on Chimp Haven expansion

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - The Caddo Parish Commission will vote Thursday on a resolution asking the federal government to pay for expanding the national sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees so it can take 110 animals from a laboratory in New Iberia. The Times ( reports that Chimp Haven director Linda Brant asked commissioners on Monday to support the resolution, saying sanctuary officials have been working with Sen. Mary Landrieu and Sen. David Vitter to get $2.5 million for the expansion. "I think it's easy to support and a resolution that would go a long way," Brant said. The National Institutes of Health said in September that it was removing all 110 federally owned chimpanzees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center. It said 10 would go to Chimp Haven in Keithville and the rest to a biomedical research facility in San Antonio, Texas. The federal decision would leave about 240 chimpanzees at NIRC, according to figures from ULL. Brant said 110 new chimps would create 16 jobs at Chimp Haven and generate about $1.2 million in spending. Chimp Haven spokeswoman Karen Allen has said the sanctuary could take up to 20 animals now, and was partway through an expansion that would have allowed 50 more when construction costs skyrocketed after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005.


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