Kennedy, Duckworth introduce bill to relocate federally-owned chimpanzees to Chimp Haven in Louisiana

“The federal government is still housing chimps no longer involved in research, which costs American taxpayers money and deprives these social creatures of a happier home. The Chimp Sanctuary Act would save American tax dollars and give these chimps a better quality of life.”

WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) today introduced the Chimp Sanctuary Act to prohibit the housing of chimpanzees at any installation of the Department of the Air Force. The Chimp Sanctuary Act would ensure all chimps housed at Department of the Air Force installations are safely transported to Chimp Haven, a sanctuary for more than 300 chimps in Louisiana.

“The federal government is still housing chimps no longer involved in research, which costs American taxpayers money and deprives these social creatures of a happier home. The Chimp Sanctuary Act would save American tax dollars and give these chimps a better quality of life,” said Kennedy.

For years, 34 chimpanzees—that are no longer needed for government research—have been held on the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in clear violation of the CHIMP Act. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Kennedy in order to right this wrong and help safely transport these chimps to Chimp Haven where they can be properly cared for and live full, healthy lives,” said Duckworth.

At Chimp Haven, chimps would enjoy a high quality of life and receive excellent care from the veterinary and behavioral teams there. Chimps at the sanctuary experience large social groups and a natural environment that stimulates their minds and helps them recover from the sometimes traumatic time they spent in laboratories.

This Nov. 4, Kennedy sent a letter to Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis Collins urging the NIH to comply with the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection Act, which requires the NIH to send all federally-owned chimps no longer needed for research to Chimp Haven.

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) also cosponsored the bill.

Text of the Chimp Sanctuary Act is available here.

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