The recommendations made by a group of outside experts that at least half the medical experiments on chimpanzees should be cut, a move affecting about 360 primates, will be taken into consideration, the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, said.

The NIH should end half of the 21 biomedical experiments underway on chimps because they do not comply with the criteria established in a December 2011 Institute of Medicine, or IOM, report, the experts said.

The NIH should start planning for an eventual move of the primates to sanctuaries, leaving only a colony of about 50 chimps for future research, the report said.

An independent council should be established to review all future proposals for experiments involving chimps, the report said.

The recommendations are not binding, but NIH officials said they would respond to the findings in late March, allowing a 60-day period for comments.

The NIH announced plans in December to retire 110 chimps and move them to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, Louisiana. EFE