Abstract # 2558 Event # 227:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 01:30 PM-03:30 PM: Session 25 (Del Mar Room) Symposium


STATUS OF CHIMPANZEES IN BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH: USES, WELFARE, ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND FUTURE STRATEGIES

E. N. Videan
Alamogordo Primate Facility, PO Box 956, Holloman AFB, NM 88330, USA
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Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) play a crucial role in biomedical research. They have been the only animal model for the development of important vaccines against several critical human diseases, including Hepatitis B. In May 2007, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) established a permanent ban on breeding of federally-owned and supported research chimpanzees. The current population of research chimpanzees in the United States stands at approximately 1000, but will likely disappear by the year 2037. In addition, the recently proposed Great Ape Protection (GAP) Act could ban the use of captive chimpanzees in all biomedical research and clinical investigations, including reproductive biology and other conservation issues in zoos. Most agree that ethical considerations and the humane care and treatment of chimpanzees need to be balanced with their role in scientific studies to advance human health. This symposium will address recent advances in the care and management of chimpanzees, current use, and future strategies for captive chimpanzees and biomedical research. A variety of perspectives will be discussed, including the scientific case for and against continued chimpanzee biomedical research, existing alternatives, and ethical considerations. A central theme of this symposium will be to identify areas of common agreement and potential strategies for the future utilization and management of the captive chimpanzee resource.