Costs for Maintaining Humane Care and Welfare of Chimpanzees, October 24, 2016
NIH conducts an annual census of its owned and supported chimpanzees after the end of each fiscal year (Sept. 30) to provide the public with official figures on their numbers and cost of care. The total number of animals is expected to decrease annually as a result of normal mortality. For example, the overall mortality rate for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) was 5.4%, which is within the expected range. The number of animals at different facilities may also increase or decrease as a result of relocation.
There are two categories of costs associated with the long-term care of chimpanzees owned or supported by NIH: (1) facility construction and (2) chimpanzee care and facility maintenance costs. For any facility, the cost of care per animal per day will decrease as the number of animals increases and vice versa.
Facility Construction Costs
The federally supported chimpanzee population has been decreasing each year since the late 1990s due to a continuing breeding moratorium and natural mortality. A census decrease results in an increase in unused space at all of the NIH-supported facilities and, thus while the need for maintenance still arises there is no near-term need for new construction. There were no significant construction or renovation costs during FY16.
Chimpanzee Care and Welfare
All federally supported chimpanzee facilities (sanctuary and non-sanctuary) comply with local, state and federal laws that regulate animal research and also are certified by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International and thus provide care that goes above and beyond that required by law. NIH is committed to maintaining the high quality of care and welfare at these facilities.
Since the number of chimpanzees at any facility will change over time, the cost per day per animal at a facility can vary from year to year. These cost per day calculations are useful for monitoring efficiency within a facility but have limited usefulness when comparing across facilities. Costs vary between facilities due to the local economy, size of the chimpanzee population, and the presence of other nonhuman primates where expensive expertise may be shared. Generally, the larger the population at any facility (chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates), the lower the cost per day per animal at that facility; this reflects an economy of scale. In a non-breeding population, the total number of animals will eventually decrease to the point that an economy of scale can no longer be realized at a facility. This can be partially compensated by decreasing staff as the chimpanzee population decreases by a certain percentage (this will vary between facilities). Currently, all animals are beginning to relocate to the Federal Sanctuary at Chimp Haven so NIH expects to see the cost efficiency begin to optimize at Chimp Haven while the efficiency at other facilities will decrease.
Based on the census as of October 24, 2016 and the most recent FY16 awards and payments, NIH spent a total of $9.06 M for 542 animals for an average of $45.8 per day per chimpanzee across all facilities including: 1) the Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research (KCCMR); 2) the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC); 3) the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) and; 4) the Federal Sanctuary facility operated by Chimp Haven, Inc. For FY15 the comparable numbers are a total of $10.19M for 573 animals for an average of $48.77 per day per chimpanzee.
TABLES: FY16 Funds Provided for NIH Owned and Supported Chimpanzees*
|Facility||# of Chimpanzees, as of 10/24/16
|NIH Cost**, $M/year
|NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)|
|Subtotal Eligible for Retirement||354||6.21||48.08|
*Definition of owned and supported:
NIH-owned: NIH owns the chimpanzee and funds their cost of care
NIH-supported: chimpanzees are privately owned and NIH funds their cost of care
**Information in the tables is based on data collected at the end of the fiscal year.
***The number of animals and thus the cost per animal per day will vary throughout the year at all facilities.
Total costs per year for the NIH owned or supported chimpanzees
October 31, 2011 report:
- Total number of animals owned or supported = 713
- Total cost for FY11 - $11.58M
- Total cost per animal per day = $44.5
October 23, 2012 report:
- Total number of animals owned or supported = 669
- Total cost for FY12 - $12.38M
- Total cost per animal per day = $50.6
October 27, 2013 report:
- Total number of animals owned or supported = 644
- Total cost for FY13 = $9.76M
- Total cost per animal per day = $41.5
October 27, 2014 report:
- Total number animals owned or supported = 606
- Total cost for FY14 = $12.09M
- Total cost per animal per day = $54.66
October 21, 2015 report
- Total number of animals owned or supported = 573
- Total cost for FY15= $10.19M
- Total cost per animal per day = $48.77
October 24, 2016 report
- Total number of animals owned or supported = 542
- Total cost for FY16= $9.06M
- Total cost per animal per day = $45.8
Current Costs per facility
KCCMR (U42) - Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Bastrop, TX
- Total cost from Notice of Award (NOA) dated 09/01/2016 - 08/31/2017= $2,609,512
SNPRC (P51) - Southwest National Primate Research Center (Texas Biomedical Research Institute), San Antonio, TX
- The total cost to NIH for chimpanzee care from NOA dated 05/18/2016 - 04/30/2017 = $602,534.
- Under the P51, costs are shared between care for the chimpanzees and several thousand other non-human primates.
- 81chimpanzees are owned by the SNPRC are partially supported with funds from NIH and the remainder provided by the Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
SNPRC (U42) - Southwest National Primate Research Center (Texas Biomedical Research Institute), San Antonio, TX
- The last of the NIH owned chimpanzees supported under the U42 at SNPRC were relocated to Chimp Haven in May 2016.
- No additional funds were provided to the SNPRC U42.
APF - Alamogordo Primate Facility, Alamogordo, NM and operated by Charles River Laboratories (a for-profit company) under contract with the NIH
- Total cost for the base period under the contract with Charles River Laboratories for period 09/26/2016 - 09/25/2017 = $2,997,563.
- Chimpanzees at APF began relocating to Chimp Haven in October 2016.
Chimp Haven, Inc. - A not-for-profit company that operates the federal sanctuary in Keithville, LA under contract with the NIH
- Total cost under the contract with Chimp Haven, Inc. for period 07/16/2016 - 07/15/2017 = $2,850,977.
This page last reviewed on April 4, 2017