Send Imprisoned Research Chimpanzees to a Sanctuary

Buckshire chimps in lab cages.

Target: Dr. Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

Goal: Retire research chimpanzees to a suitable sanctuary.

Despite having ended experiments on their chimpanzees, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has yet to send these animals to a sanctuary. Following a long and fervent campaign by animal advocacy groups and the ForceChange community, the NIH recently announced that they would stop testing on chimpanzees. Despite this announcement, these intelligent and sociable animals are still behind bars in the government’s laboratories.

While it is a huge relief that these chimps will no longer have to endure painful experiments, they remain caged in solitary confinement in the institutes’ testing centers. Much like us, chimps are highly sociable animals, forming strong bonds with their mates and caring for their offspring for years. In the wild, chimpanzees are very active, spending their days in the treetops. Clearly, these intelligent beings do not belong in labs, shut into solitary and barren cages, where they suffer from loneliness, boredom, and distress.

Moreover, chimpanzees are genetically similar to humans. In fact, they share 98 percent of our genes. In light of this, how can it be acceptable to sequester them in cages and deny them all form of pleasure or freedom to express natural behaviors? A small number of the chimps owned by the NIH have been sent to a suitable sanctuary in Louisiana, but the majority of them remained trapped. Many have even died while waiting to be freed. These innocent animals deserve to experience peace and companionship after years of abuse.

Please join us in reminding the National Institutes of Health that we haven’t forgotten about their experimental victims. Sign this petition to urge them to retire all their chimpanzees now.


Dear Dr. Collins,

While I’d like to thank you for taking the laudable decision of ending experiments on the chimpanzees in your care, it has emerged that most of them are still confined in government laboratories. Despite no longer being of medical use to the NIH, these animals have yet to be sent to accredited sanctuaries.

While a handful of chimps have been released to a sanctuary’s care, many more are still waiting to experience the freedom, companionship, and peace they so deserve. It has surfaced that many of the animals waiting to be retired have died.

Chimps are highly sociable animals who form strong bonds with their companions and are very active in the wild. In light of these intelligent animals sharing much of our genetic makeup, how can it be acceptable to keep them sequestered in labs? After suffering years of distressing and painful experiments, these chimps should not be confined to barren cages.

Please take urgent steps to retire all of the chimpanzees in the NIH’s care to accredited sanctuaries so that they may live out their remaining years in peace.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: PETA

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  1. What are you waiting for NIH? Perhaps you just enjoy animal abuse.

  2. Heather Brophy says:


  3. Set them free. They deserve to live the rest of their lives in natural surroundings and not behind bars in your fucking labs. Is it not enough that you have inflicted pain and torture on these poor souls? Show some compassion and let them be free!

  4. WHY the holdup? — WHAT’s the problem? — Living life in a cage unnecessarily is NO LIFE — Please do the right thing here and set these sweeties free to a Sanctuary where they can live a happy, healthy & comfortable life — let’s THINK rationally & compassionately about the chimps’ ordeal — let’s NOT forget, we are talking about REAL living beings, NOT stuffed animals!

  5. Sonia Clippinger says:

    Any update on this?

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