The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces that the Council of Councils Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research final report is now available here. The agency would like to thank the Working Group and the Council of Councils for their expert advice and thoughtful deliberations over the past year.
The NIH will carefully review the recommendations and consider public comments received during the January 23 through March 23 public comments period before announcing a decision on the Council’s recommendations.
In the interim time period, existing NIH policy pertaining to chimpanzees in research remains in effect. NIH will not fund any new or other competing projects (renewal and revisions) for research involving chimpanzees and will not allow any new projects to go forward with NIH-owned or -supported chimpanzees. Currently funded research involving chimpanzees may continue, but NIH will not consider requests for either administrative supplements or revisions to any projects that include costs for, or involve chimpanzees until further policy is issued. Refer to the complete NIH policy pertaining to NIH Research Involving Chimpanzees at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-025.html.
As background, in December 2010 the NIH commissioned a study by the IOM to assess whether chimpanzees are or will be necessary for biomedical and behavioral research. Specifically, the IOM committee reviewed the current use of chimpanzees for biomedical and behavioral research and explored contemporary and anticipated future alternatives to the use of chimpanzees in biomedical and behavioral research that will be needed for the advancement of the public’s health. The IOM issued its findings on December 15, 2011, concluding that most current research use of chimpanzees is “largely unnecessary” and that any future research be guided by a set of principles and criteria. NIH accepted the IOM recommendations in December 2011 and established a Working Group of the federal advisory council, the Council of Councils, to advise on the IOM report recommendations. For more information on the Council Working Group see Working Group Background, Charge, and Roster.
The Working Group submitted its final report to the Council of Councils on January 22, 2013.