Monday, September 30, 2002

In fact, there was no "rigorous selection process." No true sanctuaries would agree to the revolving door provision of the CHIMP Act, which allows "retired" chimpanzees to be recalled for research should a purported need arise.

GOVERNMENT SELECTS CHIMP HAVEN FOR ACCESSIBLE CHIMPANZEE STORAGE

Federally Owned Chimpanzees to Start a New Life In Northwest Louisiana Forest First Chimp Haven Sanctuary Set To Open In 2004
Story Filed: Monday, September 30, 2002 9:02 AM EST

CADDO PARISH, La., Sep 30, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Today brought great news for hundreds of chimpanzees. The United States government has selected Chimp Haven, Inc., an independent, non-profit organization, to build and operate a sanctuary system for all chimpanzees retired from federal biomedical facilities. The announcement follows a rigorous selection process by the National Institutes of Health to determine what organization will best serve the retirement needs of federally owned chimpanzees.

Because of their similarities to humans, chimpanzees were once widely used in the space program and in biomedical research. In recent years, there has been a dramatic decrease in the use of chimpanzees; yet, they have remained confined in laboratory facilities because there have been no alternative living spaces....

The construction process is incremental. The first facility, designed to hold 200 chimpanzees, will cost $14 million to build administrative and support space, utilities, infrastructure, an education center, and facilities for quarantine and chimpanzee indoor and outdoor housing. Ultimately, the Caddo Parish site is slated to hold 300 chimpanzees.

As part of this private public partnership, Chimp Haven must raise $6 million to meet the government's matching funds requirement-10% of construction costs and 25% for chimpanzee care and maintenance. Additionally, Chimp Haven will create an endowment to assure the long-term financial health of its sanctuary system as well as fund an ongoing educational program.

The facility, located in Caddo Parish's Eddie B. Jones Nature Park, will include several housing facilities to accommodate various needs of the incoming chimpanzees. Many will want to stay indoors until they can acclimate to their new spacious outdoor habitats-some as large as 10 acres. All the animals will have the freedom to choose how they spend their days. Natural groundcover, trees for climbing, and edible vegetation will provide a stimulating and responsive environment necessary for chimpanzee rehabilitation and a long-awaited opportunity to live in large social groups as chimpanzees should. Unlike a zoo, the sanctuary will not be open to the public on a regular basis. However, Chimp Haven will provide educational opportunities for students of all ages to learn about chimpanzee behavior and related conservation issues.

News of Chimp Haven's selection was welcomed on Capitol Hill, especially by Louisiana Congressman Jim McCrery, one of the CHIMP Act's first co- sponsors, and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, who has led efforts in the Senate. McCrery expressed his pleasure in knowing that the retired research chimpanzees will finally be given a life they deserve in his home state. "I am pleased the National Institutes of Health has chosen Caddo Parish and Chimp Haven to locate this important sanctuary for retired chimpanzees. This will provide a cost-effective program for the humane treatment of chimpanzees that have been used by our government for beneficial research. In fact, this program will cost less to operate than the current practice of continuing to house the chimps on site at research facilities. Over time, the Chimp Haven facility will be a cost-saver for the federal government, representing a win for both the chimpanzees and the taxpayers," said Congressman McCrery....

and

NIH Funding Establishes a Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Bethesda, Maryland —The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today the award of a contract to Chimp Haven, Inc., a private, non-profit organization, to establish and operate a chimpanzee sanctuary. The sanctuary will provide lifetime care for Federally owned or supported chimpanzees that are no longer needed for biomedical research. The contractor will maintain high standards for quality care and ensure state-of-the-art treatment of the chimpanzees.

The ten-year, cost-sharing contract was awarded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of NIH. Over the term of the contract, NCRR will provide approximately $19 million in total costs, and Chimp Haven will contribute approximately $4 million toward direct costs. Chimp Haven was selected for the contract through a competitive, technical review process conducted by a group of outside experts in the fields of nonhuman primate management, behavioral sciences, and veterinary medical care.

“NCRR takes very seriously its responsibility for the health and welfare of research animals,” said Dr. Judith Vaitukaitis, director of NCRR....