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113 research chimps to be sent to La. sanctuary

NEW ORLEANS More than 100 chimps from a south Louisiana laboratory that was found to have multiple violations and lost its National Institutes of Health contract will be sent to an animal sanctuary.

A sanctuary for retired federal research chimpanzees will get 113 chimps from a University of Louisiana-Lafayette lab. It will nearly double Chimp Haven's population. Chimp Haven is located in Keithville, La.

NIH originally planned to send 10 to the Shreveport-area sanctuary and the rest elsewhere.

Officials say several groups now are raising money and donating to the expansion of Chimp Haven. As of November 2011, the facility had 132 chimps, many of which had chronic health issues from years of biomedical research. Some were infected with HIV, polio and malaria.

About half the chimps can move within months, but new enclosures must be built for the rest. The Humane Society of the United States is giving $500,000 for the expansion.

In 2009, the society said its investigation found 338 federal violations at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette lab that now has the chimpanzees. The university did not renew its NIH contract.

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