February 09, 2022

Duckworth, Kennedy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Safely Transport Chimps Being Housed at DoD Installations


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works’ (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water & Wildlife, and U.S. Senator John N. Kennedy (R-LA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to prohibit the housing of chimpanzees at any installation of the Department of the Air Force. The Chimp Sanctuary Act would ensure all chimps being housed at Department of the Air Force installations to be safely transported to Chimp Haven—a sanctuary for more than 300 chimpanzees in Louisiana—no later than 180 days after the enactment of the bill.

“For years, 34 chimpanzees—that are no longer needed for government research—have been held on the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in clear violation of the CHIMP Act,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Kennedy in order to right this wrong and help safely transport these chimps to Chimp Haven where they can be properly cared for and live full, healthy lives.”

“The federal government is still housing chimps no longer involved in research, which costs American taxpayers money and deprives these social creatures of a happier home,” said Kennedy. “The Chimp Sanctuary Act would save American tax dollars and give these chimps a better quality of life.”

This legislation comes two years after Duckworth and her colleagues called on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure compliance with the Chimpanzee Health Improvement, Maintenance, and Protection (CHIMP) Act and safely transport all remaining surplus chimps being held at the Alamogordo Primate Facility (APF) on Holloman Air Force Base (AFB) in New Mexico. At the time the members sent that letter, there were 44 chimps being held at the APF on Holloman AFB in New Mexico. Today, there are only 34 chimps left alive.

Duckworth and Kennedy’s bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). The Chimp Sanctuary Act is endorsed by Animal Protection New Mexico, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, American Anti-Vivisection Society, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, Humane Society International, Animal Protection Voters and Rise for Animals.

A copy of the bill text can be found here.