Iberia

Dec 18, 2012 1:01 PM by Tonya LaCoste/Press Release

Retired chimps at New Iberia Research Center moving north Keithville

Chimpanzees at the New Iberia Research Center that were recently determined to be ineligible for biomedical research will be sent to Chimp Haven in Keithville. The sanctuary is about 22 miles southwest of Shreveport, in Keithville, and provides a lifetime home for chimpanzees who've been retired from medical research, the entertainment industry, or are no longer wanted as pets.

Referring to chimpanzees who'll be transferred from New Iberia to Keithville, National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. said, "These animals have made important contributions to research to improve human health, but new technologies have reduced the need for their continued use in research.

The chimps will be transferred over the next year to 15 months. In the meantime, Chimp Haven will need to build additional enclosures at a cost of $2.3 million. The Humane Society of the United States, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health are trying to raise money for the project.

"We are excitedly preparing for the arrival of NIH's chimpanzees from New Iberia and have begun seeking the funds required for their housing and care," said Chimp Haven President and Director Linda Brent, Ph.D. "This plan to benefit the chimpanzees is the result of unprecedented cooperation between many organizations and we look forward to continuing efforts on behalf of additional chimpanzees retired in the future." Chimp Haven is home to 106 federally owned chimpanzees that have been retired.

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