No retirement for chimp colony

29 September 2010

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Category: Animal welfare & alternatives

chimpanzee–primate.jpg186 chimps currently housed in unofficial retirement in the Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico are to be re-housed in the Southwest National Primate Research Centre.

The move is controversial and is being resisted by New Mexico governor Bill Richardson who wants to turn the Alamogordo Primate Facility into an official sanctuary.

The Alamogordo chimps have a notable history. Some are descendants of the apes used for space flight as part of the Mercury space project half a century ago.

If the chimpanzees are moved they will again be used for vaccine testing for viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV, which don't infect other laboratory animals.