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Law to assist care for chimps

President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation that authorizes funding for the National Institutes of Health to provide care and maintenance of chimpanzees retired from research and living in the federal sanctuary system.

The measure, enacted on 27 November, gets rid of the previous $30 million limit imposed on the NIH spending for the care of chimpanzees in sanctuaries.

The agency has said that a chimpanzee living at a research facility can cost up to $80 a day, but housing the same animal at a sanctuary only costs about $40 a day. On average, NIH estimates that it has spent $44.50 per day per chimpanzee in research facilities, $61.3 per day per chimpanzee in the research reserve facility at Alamogordo Primate Facility in New Mexico, and $42.70 per day per chimpanzee in the federal sanctuary facility operated by Chimp Haven in Louisiana.

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