Request for Information from Facilities with Experience in Maintaining Chimpanzees

Notice Number: NOT-OD-14-067

Key Dates
Release Date: April 7, 2014
Response Date: April 30, 2014

Related Announcements
None

Issued by
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)

Purpose

The Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) is dedicated to supporting research infrastructure and research-related resources programs, and coordinating NIH's science education efforts. Together, ORIP's programs support researchers with resources and research-related resources they need to improve human health. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit input from facilities with experience in maintaining chimpanzees and understand how this experience can be applied to supporting long-term, cost-effective housing and care of the increasing number of federally-supported chimpanzees not needed in biomedical research as part of the Federal Sanctuary System.

Background

The Federal Chimpanzee Sanctuary system is operated under the CHIMP Act (Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Management, and Protection Act of 2000).  The Act established a national sanctuary system for federally-owned or -supported chimpanzees no longer needed for research.  The Act requires the operation of a sanctuary system supporting lifetime care of chimpanzees that have been 1) used in research conducted or supported by Federal agencies, and 2) determined to be no longer needed for research. In November 2013, the President signed Senate Bill 252 into law which amended the CHIMP Act to allow the continued retirement of NIH-owned chimpanzees to the federal sanctuary system.

In 2002, a 10-year contract was awarded to Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana for the management of the Federal Chimpanzee Sanctuary system.  In 2012, the contract was re-competed and awarded again to Chimp Haven, Inc. for a period of up to 5 years. As announced in June, 2013, the NIH plans to substantially reduce the use of chimpanzees in NIH-funded biomedical research and designate for retirement most of the chimpanzees it currently owns or supports. The chimpanzees designated for retirement could eventually join more than 150 other chimpanzees already in the Federal Sanctuary System.

Information Requested

NIH invites interested parties to submit the information outlined below.  It is anticipated that the information received will be used in several ways.  First, the information will provide a useful snapshot of existing facilities that have past or current experience and expertise operating a chimpanzee sanctuary.  Both the successes of such operations as well as any challenges with the long-term sustainability of those facilities should be made apparent in the responses.  Second, NIH is in the process of considering options and developing plans for the support of the increasing number of retired federally-owned or -supported chimpanzees.  Some of the information provided may be used in that planning process. As a result, the submitted information will be reviewed by NIH and shared with the NIH Institutes and Centers that have an interest in this matter.

The information provided will not be considered confidential.

Any comments will be helpful and may include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • A description of your facility. Your comments may include but are not limited to a brief history of the ¬†¬†¬†facility including its location and capacity; the management of the facility, number of animals housed at the facility as well as number of additional animals that could be housed if funds for their maintenance would be available (but without additional construction funds available); the facility willingness and ability to safely accommodate chimpanzees that have been exposed to human pathogens. Applicable comments can include the efforts and successes in fund-raising activities undertaken by the facility.

  • The total costs per animal per day at the facility. Your comments to describe these costs may include but are not limited to all expenses for animal maintenance (i.e. animal and veterinary staff, necessary supplies and equipment, as well as indirect costs) and providing appropriate care that is in compliance with all policies and regulations.

  • The importance of facilities to adhere to the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and comply with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (National Research Council 1996) and the applicable regulations (9CFR, Subchapter A) issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act.

  • Information related to the facility's registration with the United States Department of Agriculture.

  • The facilities ability to comply with specifications of the CHIMP ACT (and the amendments): CHIMP Act of 2000, PL 106-551; PL110-70 and CHIMP Act 2013 (amendment) PL. PL 113-55.

  • Management plans that could link your facility with other facilities with similar goals (e. g., interest group, consortia) or to any other supporting institution.

  • Any additional comments that you want to be considered under this RFI.

In response to this RFI, please be concise and succinct in describing your experience without relying on URLs or other Web resource materials.

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through April 30, 2014.  Responses by email are strongly preferred.  Please use the address below to submit a response. 

This request is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.

The NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder's submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in future funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed and may appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted.  No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Manuel Moro, DVM, PhD
Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
Telephone:   301-435-0744 
Email: manuel.moro@nih.gov

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