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WASHINGTON — Sen. Bill Cassidy is trying to help hundreds of chimpanzees enjoy an easy retirement in his home state of Louisiana.

The Republican is pushing for an amendment to a major appropriations bill winding its way through Congress this week that would force the National Institutes of Health to make good on a 2015 promise to move all its chimps out of research facilities.


Three years ago, NIH Director Francis Collins pledged to transfer the chimpanzees it owns or supports from laboratories to sanctuaries “as space is available and on a timescale that will allow for optimal transition.” But in a May report, the agency said 272 chimpanzees are still living in research facilities. NIH has suggested it could finish the transition by 2026.

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