Imagine a world where animals do not have to suffer at the hands of man. Perhaps, we might be getting closer to this utopia as a new paper in Science Magazine suggests that research on chimpanzees might eventually stop.
Science has undergone quite some advances such that alternative methods have been devised to test theories instead of using animals. The Institute of Medicine released a report in 2011 attesting to this transition. The report put forward that “alternate research tools have rendered chimpanzees largely unnecessary as research subjects.”
Furthermore, no scientist has applied for federal permits to conduct testing on chimpanzees in the US. This implies that using the primate for research has decelerated, and might perhaps stop altogether in the long run.
However, it is still unclear as to whether this will be started again once stopped. But, for now, the prospects seem to look positive for chimps: since last year, research on chimps has been decreasing. It was announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that chimp research funded by the government would stop and the animals would be put in sanctuaries. All seem to point to an eventual end to the use of chimpanzees.
“This is the beginning of the end of invasive chimpanzee research,” says Stephen Ross, director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois.