ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) - A controversial primate facility in Alamogordo is again underthe scrutiny of animal rights activists.
The federal government wants to move more than 200 chimps out ofthe facility to a lab in Texas where they will undergo testing formedical research.
However, those chimps were supposed to head to Florida to beretired.
Primate research at Holloman Air Force Base has a long historythat dates back to the early days of space flight.
Many animal rights groups have fought for years to make sure thechimps there are treated humanely and safely retired.
In 2001, conditions weren't satisfactory when the chimps wereunder the care of the Coulson Foundation. The lab was shut down forcruelty.
Half of the chimps were taken by a sanctuary organization, butmore than 200 remained at the air base under new management.
Conditions have improved and the contract with the federalgovernment doesn't allow invasive research at the facility.
Now the National Center for Research Resources, or NCRR, plansto end its contract with the facility and send the chimps to anactive biomedical research center in San Antonio.
Animal Protection of New Mexico is concerned.
NCRR sent a letter to Sen. Tom Udall outlining the reasons forthe changes. The letter said research can't be preformed at theAlamogordo facility so the chimps need to be sent elsewhere.
Udall said he's concerned about the chimps and 42 workers whomay lose their jobs because of the move.
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