To see the names and ages of chimpanzees held in labs today, view each lab profile and click on the WHO’S THERE? chart on each lab page.
Chimpanzees have been used in biomedical and behavioral research in the United States since 1930. As of February 2012, there are approximately 1,000 chimpanzees held in U.S. laboratories.
This section does not address any other types of facilities housing captive chimpanzees (i.e., entertainment, pets, zoos), nor can it account for all of the chimpanzees in private labs, since those facilities are not required to divulge such information. Whenever new information is available, Project R&R will edit/augment these summaries. If you have additional information on any of these laboratories, please contact us. To learn more about the difficulty of obtaining information on chimpanzees kept in laboratories and the conditions in which they live and are used, see Uncovering the Truth.
Research Facilities With Chimpanzees
The majority of chimpanzees are housed in these five facilities. Unlike the other facilities, no invasive biomedical research occurs at the Alamogordo Primate Facility. It is merely a holding facility for government owned chimpanzees. Of the five facilities, two—Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Southwest National Primate Research Center—are part of the National Primate Research Center system established by the federal government in 1960. Out of the eight National Primate Research Centers, Yerkes and Southwest are the only labs that use and house chimpanzees in addition to other primates. Each lab profile offers available detailed information including profile; history; how the chimpanzees are used; types of research conducted; federal funding received; U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection reports (to ascertain, if possible, Animal Welfare Act compliance); Who’s There (when available, information on which chimpanzees reside, have been transferred, or have died at the facility)
- Alamogordo Primate Facility
- Michale E. Keeling Center (aka MD Anderson)
- New Iberia Research Center
- Southwest National Primate Research Center
- Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Ended Chimpanzee Use
Chimpanzees rescued from research and breeding facilities who now reside in sanctuaries are, through the voices of those who care for them, telling us their stories—stories that turn the public and policy makers’ attention on the roughly 1,000 chimpanzees remaining in U.S. labs.
Dismantling any industry embedded in profit, status, and power is never easy. It happens one step at a time even if that industry is technologically outdated and ethically questionable. Animal research in the U.S. is such an industry. The closure of the U.S. laboratories listed below, particularly the LEMSIP and Coulston labs that housed hundreds of chimpanzees, are milestones on route to the eventual end in the use of all animals in all labs. In addition to these labs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly closed their facility and transferred their chimpanzees to the New Iberia Research Center in 2009. That same year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reported there were “no programs in the…FDA that use or house chimpanzees…” The current location of their chimpanzees however is unknown.
The CDC, FDA, and NIH are all government agencies under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS “is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services…” The eleven agencies under HHS “perform a wide variety of tasks and services, including research, public health, food and drug safety, grants and other funding, health insurance, and many others.”