US Chimps May Get Endangered Status

A proposal to grant captive chimpanzees the same endangered species status as wild chimps could hamper medical research.

By | June 13, 2013

Captive chimpanzees may soon be listed as an endangered species.WIKIMEDIA, THOMAS LERSCH

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced a proposal this week to bump the status of captive chimpanzees from “threatened” to “endangered.” The proposed rule, which is open for public comment over the next 60 days, would limit permits to work with chimpanzees to projects aimed at enhancing the propagation of the species. The wildlife service would also require permits for the sale across state lines of chimpanzee cell lines, tissue, or blood.

"Chimps are an iconic species and among our closest relatives on this planet," said wildlife service director Dan Ashe in a statement. "We hope this will ignite renewed public interest in the plight of chimps in the wild."

The proposed rule change is a response to a petition filed in 2010 by wildlife conservation groups, including the Jane Goodall Institute and the Humane Society of the United States.

Wild chimpanzees have been listed as endangered since 1990, but citing the need for research HIV/AIDS research, captive chimpanzees did not receive the same protection at that time. The United States is currently the only developed country that sanctions the use of chimpanzees in research.

The FWS proposal is the latest setback for chimpanzee research. According to a December 2011 report, the Institute of Medicine recommended a moratorium on the use of the primates in biomedical research. At the time, the U.S. had 937 captive chimpanzees available for research, with 612 held by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In January, NIH’s Council of Councils called for the retirement to sanctuaries of all but 50 or so of the agency’s chimpanzees.

"Human and chimpanzee lives will be lost as a result of the reclassification,” said Joe Carey, spokesman for the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, which hosts one of the world’s largest research chimpanzee colonies, in a statement. “It is as simple and tragic as that.”

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. That Other CRISPR Patent Dispute
    Daily News That Other CRISPR Patent Dispute

    The Broad Institute and Rockefeller University disagree over which scientists should be named as inventors on certain patents involving the gene-editing technology.

  2. How Gaining and Losing Weight Affects the Body
    Daily News How Gaining and Losing Weight Affects the Body

    Millions of measurements from 23 people who consumed extra calories every day for a month reveal changes in proteins, metabolites, and gut microbiota that accompany shifts in body mass.

  3. Neurons Use Virus-Like Proteins to Transmit Information
  4. DOE-Sponsored Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Cut 100 More Jobs