Petition Closed
Petitioning Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.,

Release the Rockville 15 to a chimpanzee sanctuary


We request that you use the considerable influence of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure that the fifteen young chimpanzees used at BIOQUAL, Inc., in Rockville, Md., are released to a sanctuary.

We request the 11 chimpanzees who were leased by NIH and housed a BIOQUAL until recently to be transferred from New Iberia Research Center, Louisiana, to Sanctuary and the four remaining chimpanzees (Loretta, Ricky, Tiffany and Torian), being housed at BIOQUAL, Inc, be transferred directly to sanctuary.

These chimpanzees, collectively known as the Rockville 15, range in age from just 2 to 7 years old and were likely born in violation of NIH's own 1995 breeding moratorium.

Considering that they are unnecessary for human health research, as detailed in the recent Institute of Medicine report, they should be released to sanctuary where it is cheaper for you to house them, and a much better environment for these chimpanzees to live. Why condemn these intelligent beings to lives of misery when scientists have clearly stated the benefits of alternative research models?

They must not live out their days in a laboratory that has repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act.

New Iberia is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture for an incident in which the decomposing bodies of three monkeys were found trapped in a metal chute. In addition, between 2000 and 2008, 14 infant chimpanzees died as a result of traumatic injury at New Iberia.

We ask you to please ensure that the Rockville 15 are retired to a sanctuary immediately.

Thank you.

Letter to
Director, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.,
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Dr Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health.

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Release the Rockville 15 to a chimpanzee sanctuary

We are writing to request that you use the considerable influence of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to ensure that the four chimpanzees remaining at BIOQUAL, Inc., in Rockville, Md., are released to a sanctuary instead of sent to New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana. We also request that you facilitate the transfer of 11 other chimpanzees who were leased by NIH and housed at BIOQUAL until last week, when they were moved to New Iberia.



These chimpanzee—collectively known as the Rockville 15—range in age from only 2 to 7 years old and were likely born in violation of NIH's own 1995 breeding moratorium. Considering that they are unnecessary for human health research, they must not live out their days in a laboratory that has repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act.



New Iberia is currently under investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture for an incident in which the decomposing bodies of three macaques were found “trapped in a metal chute[.]” In addition, between 2000 and 2008, 14 infant chimpanzees died as a result of traumatic injury at New Iberia.



We urge you to ensure that the Rockville 15 are retired to a sanctuary.


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Sincerely,