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Chimps still stuck in research labs despite promise of retirement

FOX 61

(CNN)  – Despite a promise more than a year and half ago by the National Institutes of Health to retire the vast majority of government research chimpanzees to sanctuaries, hundreds of chimps are still being held for potential medical experimentation, many of them aging and intentionally infected with HIV or hepatitis.

In June 2013, the agency’s top officials pledged with great fanfare to eventually retire the chimps to habitats where they could roam more freely instead of being cooped up in corrals or cages at research facilities.

“We believe (chimpanzees) deserve special consideration as special creatures,” NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said at a news conference announcing the agency’s intentions. “(It is) our responsibility to treat them with respect.”

But so far, only six of the 310 research chimps have been allowed to leave government research facilities, and the agency has no timetable for when it will retire the rest…

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