A recent feature published in The New York Times declared that the era of chimpanzees used as research subjects is officially over. In 2015, The National Institute of Health voiced that it would no longer support invasive biomedical research conducted on the animals and—thanks in large part to the efforts of medical network The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), and animal-rights organization The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)—chimpanzees began to be evacuated from laboratories and transferred into sanctuaries with the help of nonprofit Project Chimps. The Times predicts that in 50 years there will be no more more chimpanzees that need permanent homes outside of laboratories and the sanctuaries that house them will eventually be out of business, by design. “The era of biomedical research on chimpanzees in the United States is effectively over,” the publication said. Removing chimpanzees from research facilities required a concerted effort that involved convincing scientific bodies that research conducted on these intelligent beings was not necessary nor relevant to human progress. “The retirement of chimpanzees confirms two essential truths about using non-human animals for research into human diseases,” PCRM director of academic affairs John Pippin told VegNews. “First, though they are our closest genetic relatives, chimpanzees have failed as models for drug testing and research into HIV/AIDS, cancer, and many other areas. Second, there are viable and often superior non-animal replacements for animal research that are now getting more attention and implementation.” According to Pippin, modern research methods—including the iChip, known as “human on a chip” technology—will soon replace animal testing in biomedical research.
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