"Most, But Not All, Research on Chimpanzees Can End, Panel Says"

"The Institute of Medicine report stops short of asking the federal government to retire all the animals, saying future unseen threats to human health may require their use."

"Chimpanzees remain indispensable for biomedical and behavioral research that benefits humans, but only in a small number of circumstances and likely not for long, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

After nine months of deliberation, a panel of independent experts judged that most current experiments involving man's closest primate relative can safely be discontinued. But the experts stopped short of calling on the federal government to retire all of about 600 chimps in its care, cautioning that unseen threats to human health 'may require the future use of the chimpanzee.'

The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said he accepted the panel's recommendations and promised to name a working group to figure out how to implement them."

Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times December 15, 2011.

Source: LA Times, 12/16/2011