News & Alerts

Americans Agree Chimpanzees in Laboratories for More Than 10 Years Should be Retired: (2006 Poll)

Boston, MA—June 20, 2006Nearly three-fourths of the American public (71%) believes that a chimpanzee used for more than 10 years in research should be retired. Preliminary estimates of chimpanzees known to be held in U.S. labs show that approximately 90% (987 of the some 1,300) have been there for more than 10 years. Chimpanzees in captivity can live up to 60 years.

These and other poll results indicate that Americans continue to be concerned about the plight of chimpanzees in research. Other key findings include:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of those polled believe that chimpanzees who are ill or weakened from experiments should be retired.
  • A full 80% of the population supports the use of alternatives to chimpanzees at least some of the time, with half of those supporting the use of alternatives “always.”
  • Half of all Americans would support the government’s use of taxpayer money to fund development of alternatives to chimpanzee testing.
  • The vast majority of Americans (74%) would support permanent retirement to sanctuaries for chimpanzees no longer used in experiments.
  • Three times as many Americans do not approve of using the same chimpanzee in multiple experiments as those who support it.
  • More than twice as many Americans do not believe that chimpanzees younger than seven years old should be used in experiments as those who support their use.

The survey was commissioned by Project R&R—a campaign dedicated to ending chimpanzee research in the U.S (  Project R&R exposes the harm and suffering that chimpanzees endure in U.S. labs and the limited or even dangerous scientific results derived from their use.  Seven countries have passed bans or limits on the use of great apes in research. Chimpanzees are the only great ape still used in biomedical research in the U.S., the sole remaining large scale user in the world.

About the survey: The independent survey was conducted by the Humane Research Council, a national consumer and market research company.  In total, 1,678 U.S. adults age 18 and over completed the survey with valid responses—resulting in a margin of error of about +/- 2.4% at a 95% confidence level. "The survey was conducted online with controlled sample distribution using census-balanced weighting to ensure accurate representation of the U.S. adult population."