Chimpanzee Management Program

The NIH Chimpanzee Management Program (ChiMP) supports long-term, cost-effective housing and maintenance at NIH-supported facilities for chimpanzees. ORIP provides programmatic oversight of the facilities and ensures they comply with the Animal Welfare Act, and policies concerning laboratory animal care and use.

Chimpanzee Sanctuary

In September 2002, the first award of a contract was made to Chimp Haven, Inc., a private, nonprofit organization, to establish and operate a chimpanzee sanctuary. This federal sanctuary system provides lifetime care of retired research chimpanzees as mandated by the Chimpanzees Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection (CHIMP) Act of December 2000.

Standards were issued to implement provisions of the CHIMP Act, which authorized the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and publish standards of care for chimpanzees held in the sanctuary system. The standards apply to only those facilities receiving funds as a part of the federally-funded chimpanzee sanctuary system.

October 10, 2008, Adobe Acrobat Reader Icon Federal Register Notice: Standards of Care for Chimpanzees Held in the Federally Supported Chimpanzee System Exit Disclaimer.

Other facilities housing NIH-owned chimpanzees are the Alamogordo Primate Facility, New Mexico; the Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, Bastrop, Texas; and the Southwest National Primate Center, San Antonio, Texas.

Chimpanzee Retirement

In November 2015, NIH announced that it will no longer support any biomedical research on chimpanzees, and that all NIH-owned and NIH-supported chimpanzees that reside outside of the Federal Sanctuary are eligible for retirement and relocation to the sanctuary as required by the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance and Protection Act (CHIMP Act). See NIH Plan to Retire All NIH-Owned and -Supported Chimpanzees.

A review of the literature related to the Physiological and Welfare Concerns of the At-Risk Chimpanzee Population was undertaken by ORIP to aid in informing the Council of Councils Working Group on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees. The Executive Summary of this activity was included as an appendix to the Working Group's report.

As recommended by the Council of Councils Working Group on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees and accepted by the NIH, a standardized categorization system based on chimpanzee health and behavioral status was developed and accepted by facilities housing NIH chimpanzees.


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. For current and prior-year cost assessments, see Chimpanzee Management Reports.

See Also: Survival of Captive Chimpanzees: Impact of Location and Transfers

Contact Information

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Last updated: 06-27-2023