Request for Information from Facilities with Long Standing Experience in Maintaining Chimpanzees

Notice Number: NOT-RR-10-007

Key Dates
Release Date:  March 19, 2010
Response Date:  April 14, 2010

Issued by
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR),


The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), one component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the tools and training they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases.  Along with other Institutes and Centers at NIH, NCRR supports research animal model resources and facilities.  The purpose of this RFI is to solicit input from facilities with long-standing experience in maintaining chimpanzees and understand how this experience can be applied to supporting long-term, cost-effective housing and care of the federally-supported chimpanzees not needed in biomedical research.  

The current contract expires in 2012, and it is unclear if additional funds will be appropriated beyond the cap placed on the original appropriation. If new funds are appropriated,  the contract will need to be recompeted. The number of chimpanzees that will need care is not defined.  We are soliciting information so we can explore our future options.


The Federal Chimpanzee Sanctuary is the facility operated under the CHIMP Act (Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Management, and Protection Act; codified at 42 U.S.C. 287a-3a).  The Act established a national sanctuary for federally-owned or -supported chimpanzees no longer needed for research.  The Act requires the operation of a sanctuary 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 2002, a 10-year contract was awarded to Chimp Haven in Keithville, Louisiana for the management of the Federal Chimpanzee Sanctuary. 

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.  It is hoped that both the successes of such operations as well as any challenges with the long-term sustainability of those facilities will become apparent in the responses.  Second, NCRR is in the process of considering options and developing plans for the continuation of support for the 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 NCRR and shared with other NIH Institutes and Centers that have an interest in this matter.

 The information provided will not be considered confidential. 

1)  Describe your facility (or facilities)
Please describe how you are associated with the chimpanzee facility.  This description might include (a) a brief history of the facility including its location and capacity, (b) the management of the facility including the oversight body, institutional officials, potential advisory groups, the management team, and the staff (e.g., animal care staff, veterinary support), (c) the 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), and (d) any efforts and successes in fund-raising activities.  If you are a current employee/advisory board member/manager of the facilities, please indicate the type of challenges that you encounter. 

2)  Describe how you would expand your facility to include the federally-supported animals

Please describe your ability to maintain an additional 80 – 120 chimpanzees.  Outline how this can be accomplished if no additional construction funding will be available to expand the current facility. 

3)  Operating costs of your facility

Based on your past experience with maintaining chimpanzees, please indicate the total costs per animal per day at your facility.  This total costs should include all expenses for animal maintenance (i.e., animal and veterinary staff, necessary supplies and equipment, as well as indirect costs) providing appropriate care that is in compliance with all policies and regulations.  Comments concerning fund raising efforts, successes, and future plans are welcome.

4)  Federal Law and NIH policies

If currently an assured facility, please provide the Animal Welfare Assurance number and indicate if the facility is a Category 1 or Category 2 institution as described in the Assurance. The organization managing the Federal Sanctuary must negotiate an Animal Welfare Assurance with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, NIH, if not previously approved. The Assurance  is a commitment that the organization will adhere to the PHS Policy on the 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..  Depending on animal activities performed at the sanctuary, the organization may have to register with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and agree to compliance inspections. If currently licensed or registered, please provide the license or registration number for the facility.

5) Management plans for facilities

Unless covered in detail under (2) above; describe any management plans that you are aware of that might allow for expansion of the existing facility.  Such plans might be concerned with institutional oversight, expenses, fund raising, and public relations.  Describe any management plans that link your facility with other facilities with similar goals (e.g., interest groups, consortia). 

6) Other issues

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 14, 2010.  Responses by e-mail are strongly preferred.  Please use the address to submit a response. 


Inquiries regarding this notice may be directed to:

Manuel Moro, DVM, PhD
Division of Comparative Medicine
National Center for Research Resources
6701 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, MD   20892-4874
Telephone:   (301) 435-0744 
FAX:  (301) 480-3819

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