Council of Councils

Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research

Working Groups

Working Group to Implement IOM Recommendations

On Feb. 2, 2012, NIH charged the Council of Councils with assembling a working group to propose advice on implementing recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academies) to consider the size and placement of the active and inactive populations of NIH-owned and -supported chimpanzees.  On January 22, 2013, the Council of Councils accepted the working group’s recommendations and provided these recommendations to the NIH. After seeking and considering public comments, the agency accepted a majority of the Council’s recommendations on June 26, 2013.

Chimpanzee Research Use Panel

(Working Group disbanded following NIH decision to no longer fund biomedical research using chimpanzees.)

Working Group on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees

On January 26, 2018, NIH charged the Council of Councils with assembling a working group to assess the safety of relocating at-risk chimpanzees. The working group will provide advice and recommendations on factors to be considered by attending veterinarian staff when deciding whether to relocate NIH-owned or -supported chimpanzees between federally supported facilities and the federal chimpanzee sanctuary. The Working Group will provide their findings for consideration by the Council of Councils.

Timeline of NIH Decision to End the Use of Chimpanzees in Research

August 2016: NIH develops plan to retire NIH-owned and -supported chimpanzees
November 2015: NIH announces it will no longer support biomedical research using chimpanzees
June 2015:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalizes rule listing all chimpanzees as endangered under the endangered species act

June 2013: NIH announces it will significantly reduce the use of chimpanzees in research
January 2013: NIH Council of Councils presents recommendations.
December 2011:

NIH Director accepts NAS recommendations and charges a working group of the Council of Councils to make recommendation on how to implement them.

December 2011: The National Academies (then the IOM) issues report: Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity. Concludes that most current use of chimpanzees in biomedical research is unnecessary and that the use of chimpanzees in research that may still be needed should be guided by a set of principles and criteria.
December 2010: NIH Director commissioned a study by the Institute of Medicine to determine the continued scientific need for chimpanzees in NIH-funded research.

This page last reviewed on March 21, 2018