FASEB PROVIDES INPUT TO THE COUNCIL OF COUNCILS WORKING GROUP ON THE USE OF CHIMPANZEES IN NIH-SUPPORTED RESEARCH Created by on 04/10/2012
In response to a request for information
issued by a National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Council of Councils working group, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) provided input regarding the future use of chimpanzees in NIH-supported research. The working group’s solicitation followed a report by the Institute of Medicine
(IOM), which provided recommendations for the use of chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research and NIH’s acceptance of the IOM recommendations
focused on two main areas: factors to consider when transitioning chimpanzees out of research and characteristics of the oversight committee responsible for reviewing future research proposals involving chimpanzees. The Federation encouraged the working group to consider the chimpanzees’ health histories when transitioning chimpanzees out of active research into an inactive status. It will be important to take into account the age and medical status of each chimpanzee, as most non-profit wildlife sanctuaries in the United States do not have the veterinary staff or infrastructure to care for animals with chronic medical conditions.
The Federation also provided recommendations on the characteristics of the oversight committee responsible for reviewing future research proposals. FASEB recommended that the oversight committee include members who can ensure the chimpanzees’ medical and behavioral needs are taken into account and evaluable whether a proposal can ethically be conducted in a human in lieu of a chimpanzee. In addition, the committee should include scientists with expert knowledge in virology, immunology, genetics, and behavioral research; and members who are knowledgeable about the availability and utility of alternative technologies to the use of chimpanzees.