In order to protect retired chimpanzees from being subjected to continued research, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) has co-introduced the Chimp Haven is Home Act.
Working along with Senators David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), Burr looks to improve the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection Act of 2000 which established Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana for chimpanzees no longer needed for research.
The legislation would stop the removal of retired chimpanzees from Chimp Haven for research purposes by the National Institutes of Health. Currently, chimpanzees are evaluated and placed in the sanctuary when their population surpasses current research needs.
"Chimp Haven provides sanctuary to over one hundred chimps, many of which have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis,” Burr said. “This legislation will protect those chimps in their retirement and ensure they will no longer be used for research. Providing these animals with permanent protection will give animal welfare groups and other organizations peace of mind in partnering with Chimp Haven,” Burr added.
The original CHIMP Act of 2000 allows chimps to be removed from the sanctuary for further research if specific criteria are met. Burr’s legislation would remove that provision.
The next step for this legislation will be the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, of which Burr is a member.