In making the announcement, Dr. Francis S. Collins, the director of the N.I.H., said that chimps, as the closest human relatives, deserve “special consideration and respect” and that the agency was accepting the recommendations released earlier in the day by an expert committee of the Institute of Medicine, which concluded that most research on chimpanzees was unnecessary.
The report and the quick response by the N.I.H. do not put an end to research on chimps, but they were claimed as victories by animal welfare groups that have long been fighting for a ban on such research, arguing that chimps should not be subjected to experimental use. They said that the move was a step toward eventually ending chimp research, already a tiny segment of federal research. Read More