“New federal rules proposed Tuesday would severely restrict medical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and send nearly all of the government’s remaining 450 research chimps into retirement, an unfunded project that could cost $25 million.
The recommendations, which set high hurdles for new studies using chimps, arrive even as research with the apes has grown increasingly rare.
The United States is the only country that keeps chimpanzees for research.
Just two of the 30 current federally funded chimpanzee projects would meet the proposed criteria. Both projects involve infectious diseases or immunology. Seventeen other projects would be allowed if the chimps’ housing conditions were upgraded.
Under the recommendations, researchers would have to meet the proposed rules to receive federal funding. Only studies that could not be done with people or other animals … would be approved. Ongoing projects would be allowed to finish.