Archive Costs for Maintaining Humane Care and Welfare of Chimpanzees

October 23, 2012

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 number of animals is expected to decrease annually as a result of normal mortality.

There are two types of costs associated with the long-term care of chimpanzees owned or supported by NIH: appropriate facility construction and chimpanzee care and welfare costs.

Facility Construction Costs

Chimpanzee facilities are uniquely designed for these large animals, including indoor housing with air conditioning/heating, special wall furniture, and outdoor housing tailored to chimpanzee size and behavior. In 2002-2004 NIH spent approximately $11.8 million to construct a federal sanctuary system operated by Chimp Haven, Inc. to appropriately house 130 federally owned chimpanzees over their life time. Approximately $2 million was provided to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in September 2010 to renovate facilities to increase the capacity of the Southwest National Primate Research Center.

Chimpanzee Care and Welfare

Based on the most recent awards and payments, NIH is spending an average of $44 per day per chimpanzee in research facilities; $66 per day per chimpanzee in the research reserve facility at Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF); and $53 per day per chimpanzee in the federal sanctuary facility operated by Chimp Haven, Inc. The average for research facilities becomes $50 per day if the research reserve facility at APF is included. See Tables for detailed figures.

Changes in the Chimpanzee Management Plan since the Last Posting

The last posting, October 31, 2011, reported only those animals owned or supported by the former National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)*. The current posting reports on all animals owned or supported by NIH; this resulted in an increase in reporting of 16 animals owned and supported by the Division of Veterinary Resources (DVR) within the Office of Research Services at NIH. The DVR chimpanzees are housed at the Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research (see Table below).

The October 31, 2011 posting reported 125 animals owned by the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC, Texas Biomedical Research Institute) and supported by NCRR. The current posting reports 91 animals owned by SNPRC and supported by NIH; SNPRC assumed support for the remaining SNPRC-owned animals (see details in Table below). National Primate Research Centers (NPRC) that own chimpanzees can choose to support their privately owned animals with non-federal funds.

On September 21, 2012, the NIH announced that it will be relocating the NIH-owned chimpanzees currently located at the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in New Iberia, La. All of the chimpanzees have been declared permanently ineligible for biomedical research and therefore, eligible for retirement. NIH will be retiring as many chimpanzees as can be accommodated by existing capacity within the Federal Sanctuary System and relocate the remainder to the SNPRC, Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) until space within the Federal Sanctuary System becomes available. Through the existing Texas Biomed cooperative agreement, the NIH provided sufficient funds to support the relocation of chimpanzees to Texas Biomed and to support their care and maintenance once relocated (U42, see Table below). Any excess funds stemming from this award will be used to offset the costs to the NIH of any additional years remaining in the U42.

As of December 2011, no new research using chimpanzees has been funded.

* NCRR ceased to exist after the creation of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on Dec. 23, 2011. The responsibility for chimpanzees formerly in NCRR’s care now lies with the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives within the NIH Office of the Director.

Change in Overall Cost to the Government from Previous Reporting Period

October 31, 2011 report:

  • Total number animals owned or supported = 713
  • Total cost per year = $11.58M
  • Total cost per animal per day = $44.5

October 23, 2012 report:

  • Total number of animals owned or supported = 670
  • Total cost per year - $12.38M
  • Total cost per animal per day = $50.6

TABLES: Cost of NIH Owned and Supported* Chimpanzees

Research Facilities
Facility # of Chimpanzees, as of 10/23/12
(total)
NIH Cost**, $M/year 
(total)
NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)
NIRC 110 1.86 46.3
KCCMR 151 2.56 46.5
KCCMR, DVR 16 .39 67.4
SNPRC, P51 91 .92 27.7
SNPRC, U42 24 .52 59.4
Total  (392) (6.24) (43.6)
Research Reserve Facility
Facility # of Chimpanzees, as of 10/23/12
(total)
NIH Cost**, $M/year 
(total)
NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)
APF 169 4.04 65.5
Federal Sanctuary
Facility # of Chimpanzees, as of 10/23/12
(total)
NIH Cost**, $M/year 
(total)
NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)
Chimp Haven 109 2.10 52.8

 

*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

**Cost determined as below based on most recent 2012 to 2013 Notice of Grant Awards (NOGA) or invoices/obligated funds for contracts with Chimp Haven and APF.

***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 very throughout the year at all facilities.

NIRC - New Iberia Research Center, Lafayette, LA

  • Total cost from NOGA dated 09/16/2012 - 09/15/2013= $1,858,987
  • All NIH-owned NIRC chimpanzees are permanently ineligible for biomedical research.

KCCMR - Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Bastrop, TX

  • Total cost from NOGA dated 09/01/2012 - 08/31/2013= $2,564,160
  • Total cost for Division of Veterinary Resources (DVR) base contract HHSN263201200075I for period 8/7/2012 – 8/6/2013 = $393,733.

SNPRC (P51) - Southwest National Primate Research Center (Texas Biomedical Research Institute), San Antonio, TX

  • Total cost from NOGA dated 05/01/2012 - 04/30/2013, pro-rated for costs associated with chimpanzees only = $917,305.
  • 91 chimpanzees are owned by SNPRC and supported with funds from NIH.
  • SNPRC also owns 26 animals not supported by NIH.

SNPRC (U42) - Southwest National Primate Research Center (Texas Biomedical Research Institute), San Antonio, TX

  • Total cost from NOGA dated 09/21/2012 - 07/31/2013= $3,347,851. This includes $523,117 for the current year support and a supplement of $142,850 for partial support of animals in the previous year.
  • 24 chimpanzees owned and supported by NIH.
  • NOGA also includes $2,681,884 to cover the costs of moving 110 chimpanzees from NIRC and the care and maintenance of the animals as they arrive at the center. These animals are not yet located at SNPRC. This cost does not apply to the 24 animals already at the center.

APF - Alamogordo Primate Facility, Alamogordo, NM

  • Total cost for first option on contract HHSN268201200068C for period 07/16/2012 - 07/15/2013 = $4,037,874.

Chimp Haven, Inc. – Operates the federal sanctuary in Keithville, LA

  • Total cost for base contract HHSN268201100065C for period 06/30/2012 - 06/29/2013 = $2,097,120.

This page last reviewed on April 4, 2017