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No monkeying around: Richardson opposes chimp transfer

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By The Staff

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Richardson is asking to tour a former medical research lab in southern New Mexico that houses more than 200 chimpanzees.

Richardson made the comment Tuesday after meeting in Bethesda, Md. with officials of the National Institutes of Health, which contracts with a private company to care for the chimps.

The contract expires next year and Richardson opposes a plan by the agency to transfer the chimps from the Alamogordo Primate Facility, where they are no longer used for medical testing.

Richardson said NIH appeared to be "holding steadfast" to its plan and he vowed to continue opposing it. The animals can be used again for medical experiments if transferred to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas.


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