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Several species of nonhuman primates, each possessing specific characteristics of particular value, are used by the United States biomedical community in a wide variety of health-related activities. These animals are man's closest relatives and are indispensable in the effort to understand and control human health problems.

The destruction of primate habitats and embargoes on export of primates from source countries have decreased the supply of these animals. Continuation of many ongoing and new activities contributing to the improvement of human health is threatened by inadequate and erratic supply of these resources. In the U.S., a program has been developed to meet health needs for primates by: 1) ensuring the most effective use of primates; 2) developing domestic production of primates; and 3) contributing to conservation programs to ensure a stable supply and long-term availability of primates from their countries of origin.


This paper is an edited version of a text prepared for and presented at the Institute for the Study of Animal Problems symposium on Nonhuman Primates in Biomedical Programs, 15 October 1980, San Francisco, California.