Created by on 06/20/2011


A National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research website released on June 9th describes the costs associated with maintaining National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) supported research chimpanzees. The NIH website is particularly useful given that legislation seeking to end invasive chimpanzee research states that putting the remaining NCRR-owned research chimpanzees in sanctuary would save money for the government. These data clearly indicate that it is less expensive to have the chimpanzees in active research centers rather than in sanctuary.
According to the NIH website, it costs an average of $34 per day per chimpanzee to maintain the research populations at the New Iberia Research Center, Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, and Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), while it costs twice that amount ($69 per day per chimpanzee) at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) where the chimpanzees are not in active research protocols. The high cost of maintaining the non-research chimpanzees at APF is one reason why NIH intended to transfer the colony to the SNPRC. However, public outcry caused NIH to delay the transfer pending an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study assessing the future need for chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research. Costs per day at Chimp Haven, the federal chimpanzee sanctuary, are $44 per chimp, considerably higher than those at the three active research centers. In addition, between 2002 and 2004, NIH spent approximately $11.8 million to construct the sanctuary facility to house the 130 federally-owned, retired chimpanzees over their life-time. FASEB will continue to monitor both the legislation and IOM study.