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You are here News Of Special Interest Drug company Merck to end tests on chimps

Drug company Merck to end tests on chimps

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merck use of chimps endsDrugmaker Merck & Co. is joining two dozen other pharmaceutical companies and contract laboratories in committing to ending research on chimpanzees.

The growing trend — driven by improved technology and pressure from animal rights groups as well as the National Institutes of Health and Congress — could mean roughly 1,000 chimps in the U.S. used for research or warehoused in laboratory cages could be "retired" to sanctuaries by around 2020.

That is according to the Humane Society of the United States, which called the move a "step in the right direction" and which seven years ago began urging companies to phase out all chimp research.

Merck directed Al Jazeera to a statement on its website in which the company said it has "voluntarily made the decision not to use chimpanzees in biomedical research in the foreseeable future or to directly or indirectly fund their use in studies by external research partners" due to what it called "scientific advances."

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