The day of the chimpanzee in biomedical research has passed, as more than half the respondents to a recent GEN poll (54.9%) said they favored a ban on the use of these animals by scientists. That’s a more restrictive stance than the one taken in December by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council of the National Academies, which called for allowing chimps in biomedical research “only under stringent conditions.” Among poll respondents, 35.3% favored adding restrictions but not a full ban, while 7.8% called for keeping the current rules.

NIH has said it will need more than a year to develop policies that implement the guiding principles and criteria of IOM and the research council. The agency has set an April 10 deadline for accepting public comment on the topic, which will be passed along to NIH’s Council of Councils Working Group on the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-Supported Research. The working group plans to brief the council in the middle of this year and present a final report by early 2013.


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