Costs for Maintaining Humane Care and Welfare of Chimpanzees, October 21, 2015

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. 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. The overall mortality rate for 2014-2015 was 5.6%, which is within the expected range. This census decrease has resulted in an increase in unused space at all of the NIH-supported facilities and, thus while the need for maintenance occasionally arises there is no near-term need for new construction; there are approximately 160 spaces available at the current NIH supported facilities.  There were no significant construction or renovation costs during FY 2015.

Chimpanzee Care and Welfare

All federally supported chimpanzee facilities (sanctuary and non-sanctuary) not only comply with local, state and federal laws that regulate animal research but 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. Also, if grant funds at a facility are not totally expended from the previous year, those funds are used to offset the current year’s cost and the cost per day per animal will appear lower; see TexBiomed U42 funding in the Tables below. 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). However, over the next several years, even though the total cost of the chimpanzee program will continue to decrease, the efficiency will also decrease with a concomitant and unavoidable increase in the cost per day per animal.

Based on the census as of October 21, 2015 and the most recent FY15 awards and payments, NIH spent a total of $10.19M for 573 animals for an average of $48.77 per day per chimpanzee across all facilities including: 1) the two research facilities, Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research (KCCMR) and the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC); 2) the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) and; 3) the federal sanctuary facility operated by Chimp Haven, Inc. For FY14 the comparable numbers are a total of $12.1M for 606 animals for an average of $54.66 per day per chimpanzee.

TABLES: FY15 Funds Provided for NIH Owned and Supported Chimpanzees*

Research Facilities
Facility # of Chimpanzees, as of 10/21/15
(total)
NIH Cost**, $M/year 
(total)
NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)
KCCMR 139 2.87 56.57
SNPRC, P51 82 1.4 46.78
SNPRC, U42 20 0 0
Total 241 4.27 48.54

 

 

Research Reserve Facility
Facility # of Chimpanzees, as of 10/21/15
(total)
NIH Cost**, $M/year 
(total)
NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)
APF 149 3.16 58.10

 

 

Research Reserve Facility
Facility # of Chimpanzees, as of 10/21/15
(total)
NIH Cost**, $M/year 
(total)
NIH cost***, $/animal/day, (avg)
Chimp Haven 183 2.77M 41.47

*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 very throughout the year at all facilities.

COST DETERMINATIONS

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 preliminary 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

Current Costs per facility

KCCMR (U42) - Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Bastrop, TX

  • Total cost from NOGA dated 09/01/2015 - 08/31/2016= $2,558,344
  • 14 animals previously covered by a Division of Veterinary Resources contract were moved to the KCCMR U42 in FY14. Funds were provided to the U42 on 02/04/2015 to cover the care of these animals = $204,623 in NOGA dated 02/04-2012 – 08/31/2015. 13 animals were transferred to the federal sanctuary between December 2014 and April 2015.
  • Funds to care for the DVR animals remaining at KCCMR were provided as indicated in the NOGA dated 09/04/2015 – 08/31/2016 = $104,313.

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

  • This is last year's total cost from NOGA dated 05/01/2015 - 04/30/2016, pro-rated for costs associated with chimpanzees only = $1.4M.
  • Under the P51, costs are shared between care for the chimpanzees and several thousand other non-human primates.
  • 82 chimpanzees are owned by SNPRC and supported with funds from NIH. 

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

  • Total cost from NOGA dated 08/01/2015 - 07/31/2016 = $1.00.
  • 20 chimpanzees owned and supported by NIH. 
  • Unobligated FY14 funds were used to pay the FY 15 costs.

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 on contract HHSN276201400013C for period 09/26/2015 - 09/25/2016 = $3,155,644.
  • Unlike the other facilities, the APF is located on a United States Air Force (USAF) base and thus operates under conditions of the contract between NIH and Charles River Laboratories which includes additional USAF-specific conditions detailed in a permit issued by the USAF.
    •  Use Permit No. USAF-ACC-KWRD-4-01-005 states that any chimpanzee designated as surplus must be removed from the APF premises.
    • The same permit states that any chimpanzee removed from APF may not be returned to the APF. Further, no new animals may be introduced into the APF.

Chimp Haven, Inc.– A not-for-profit company that operates the federal sanctuary in Keithville, LA under contract with the NIH

  • Total cost for the contract HHSN268201100065C for period 07/16/2015 - 07/15/2016 = $2,770,269.
  • The Standards of Care for Chimpanzees Held in the Federally Supported Sanctuary System (42 CFR Part 9) and the CHIMP Act govern the activities at Chimp Haven.
  • Space is filled as it becomes available. Chimp Haven received 13 animals from KCCMR between December 2014 and April 2015.

This page last reviewed on April 4, 2017