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Bipartisan Chimpanzee Retirement Legislation Unanimously Passes Senate

The United States Senate has voted to give the National Institutes of Health the flexibility within its budget to retire government-owned chimpanzees from laboratories to sanctuaries, and continue to support those already in sanctuary. The Senate passed S. 1561, the CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013, by unanimous consent. The Humane Society of the United States’ Vice President for animal research issues, Kathleen Conlee, issued the following statement:

“This is a vital step in our ongoing efforts to move chimpanzees out of barren laboratories and into sanctuary where they can live the rest of their lives in the peace and safety they deserve. We express appreciation to Senators Harkin, Alexander and Burr for their leadership on this bill, which will ensure ongoing support of chimpanzees already in sanctuary, allow for NIH to follow through on its commitment to retire hundreds of additional chimpanzees and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”

The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Ranking Member Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. This full Senate action is a major step, but now it is up to the House of Representatives to finalize this important measure and send it to the President for his signature before funding for chimpanzees runs out in mid-November. 

Media Contact: Samantha Miller: 301-258-1417; smiller@humanesociety.org