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EXPERTS REACH CONSENSUS ON FUTURE HEALTH RESEARCH INVOLVING CHIMPANZEES

 EXPERTS REACH CONSENSUS ON FUTURE HEALTH RESEARCH
 INVOLVING CHIMPANZEES
 ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Diagnon Corporation announced that a consensus statement on the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research will be released today in Strasbourg, France, at the 14th International Congress of Primatology. A diverse group of chimpanzee experts and biomedical researchers outlined principles to ensure the best possible living conditions for chimpanzees in biomedical research. It is expected that these recommendations will facilitate ongoing research on AIDS, hepatitis and respiratory diseases.
 The statement is part of the proceedings of a unique meeting held at Diagnon's facilities in Rockville in November 1991. The proceedings volume, titled "Chimpanzee Conservation and Public Health: Environments for the Future," includes essays on chimpanzee environments in the wild and in laboratories, breeding colonies and zoological parks. The importance of research with chimpanzees and other non-human primates is also described, along with techniques for assuring that the research is not harmful to captive chimpanzees or to the wild populations.
 The conclusions released today include:
 (1) The group affirmed that chimpanzees have not been imported into the United States for biomedical research for many years and that there is no reason to do so, given the success of the Chimpanzee Breeding and Research Program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The group agreed that false rumors about the biomedical demand for chimpanzees are hazardous to wild chimpanzee populations.
 (2) Increased funding for improvement of facilities was urged to assure that all facilities would exceed minimum standards.
 (3) Development of a standard records and identification system was recommended, and all holders of chimpanzees were urged to list their chimpanzees with the International Species Inventory System (ISIS).
 The November workshop included a tour of Diagnon's state-of-the- art biocontainment facility in which chimpanzees live in glass-walled rooms. The facility was designed specifically to provide social stimulation and environmental comfort for the chimpanzees even during periods of strict quarantine containment. Former Sen. John Melcher, D.V.M., an animal welfare proponent, commented in a recent publication that the environments "... truly do enhance psychological well-being."
 Diagnon operates through a wholly owned subsidiary BIOQUAL, Inc. BIOQUAL holds several contracts for the U.S. government (NIH, ADAMHA) and also provides custom services in the areas of rodent models for cancer, immunology, contraceptive development and evaluation, transgenic manipulation and breeding; and non-human primate models for contraceptive development and evaluation, cancer, AIDS, SIV, influenza and hepatitis. Diagnon also provides consulting services with regard to meeting environmental enrichment requirements for non- human primates as prescribed by the USDA.
 -0- 8/17/92 R
 /CONTACT: Dr. John C. Landon of Diagnon, 301-251-2801/ CO: Diagnon Corporation ST: Maryland IN: MTC SU:


DC -- DC006 -- 0480 08/17/92 11:46 EDT
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Date:Aug 17, 1992
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