Richardson Fights To Keep Chimp Research In Alamogordo

Alamogordo – Gov. Bill Richardson is meeting with officials of the National Institutes of Health next week to object to a planed move of chimpanzees from a former medical research lab in southern New Mexico.

The governor wants the NIH to permanently retire the chimps and make the Alamogordo Primate Facility a sanctuary for the animals.

The NIH plans to move the chimps to the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio, Texas, where they can be used for medical experiments.

More than 200 chimps are at the New Mexico facility, but no longer are subject to medical testing.

A federal contract with a private company to care for the chimps in New Mexico is expiring.

Richardson's meeting is Tuesday at NIH headquarters in Bethesda, Md.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.