WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Institutes of Health is sending its last remaining research chimpanzees into retirement -- as soon as a federal sanctuary has room for them.
The government already had declared that the use of humans' closest relative as a test subject was coming to an end. In 2013, the NIH said it would retire most of the several hundred government-owned chimps still living at research laboratories.
But it set aside 50 animals to be on standby just in case they still were needed for a public-health emergency or some other extreme situation.
Wednesday, NIH Director Francis Collins announced those chimps' lab days are over, too, saying there's no justification for continued invasive research with the animals.