Congress passes chimp retirement plan

It’s not Social Security, but Congress passed a bill Thursday evening that would allow some chimpanzees to retire comfortably.

The Senate accepted a House amendment to a funding bill that would allow the National Institutes of Health to spend money on sanctuary care for retired laboratory chimpanzees.

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“Chimps belong on grass and in trees, not behind bars in small cages in laboratories,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, said Thursday. “When the laboratory chimps claim their new homes in sanctuaries, we will have not only helped chimps, but restored our humanity by ending privation and misery for these animals.”
The House chimp amendment was similar to a bill the Senate passed last month — S. 1561, the CHIMP Act Amendments of 2013.
 
The bill’s sponsor, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), said moving the chimps bill was the “right thing to do” and would save taxpayers money since it’s cheaper to house the chimps in a sanctuary than in a lab. 

The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature before becoming law.