Governor Bill Richardson today announced his support to save the 202 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility on Holloman Air Force Base who may be moved out of state to be used for invasive research. The Governor sent a letter today to Francis S. Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, expressing his concerns for the chimpanzees and the more than 40 jobs that will be lost if the chimps are moved to Texas.
"This is an urgent situation and I am asking the National Institutes of Health to permanently retire the 202 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility so that they may not be used for invasive research. New Mexico wants to save these chimpanzees who have already given so much of their lives to the American public as part of medical research studies," said Governor Bill Richardson.
Governor Richardson in a letter to NIH Director Francis Collins urges the Institute to
permanently retire all of the Alamogordo Primate Facility chimpanzees, return the 15
chimpanzees that have already been sent to Texas and convert the Facility into a sanctuary.
"The small community of Alamogordo stands to lose 42 jobs and millions of federal dollars associated with the care of these chimpanzees should they be moved to Texas," said Governor Bill Richardson. "There is a compassionate and prudent alternative to the National Center for Research Resources' plan and I feel strongly that we must save the chimpanzees."
The chimps have been housed at the Alamogordo Primate Facility since 2001 and according to the agreement with Holloman; no research may be conducted on the chimpanzees while at the Facility. Charles River Laboratories, which operates the Alamogordo Primate Facility, is contracted with the National Institutes of Health until May 2011. The National Health Institute has announced plans to move all of the chimpanzees to Texas where they will be used for invasive medical research by early 2011. In recent weeks 15 of the 202 chimpanzees have been moved to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in Texas.