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The Humane Society of the United States and New York Blood Center announce agreement to provide long-term sanctuary for Liberian chimpanzees

New York Blood Center

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The Humane Society of the United States and the New York Blood Center, Inc. announced an agreement today that should secure the long-term well-being of more than 60 chimpanzees in Liberia. 

NYBC operated a research colony in Liberia that involved the use of the chimpanzees in testing of a Hepatitis B vaccine. In 2006, NYBC ended its research program in Liberia and placed the chimpanzees on a set of estuary islands in Liberia. The NYBC provided food and water to the chimpanzees for nearly a decade, after which The HSUS stepped in to provide emergency funding and then took on the care of the animals. The HSUS and NYBC have engaged in discussions to ensure the long-term care of chimpanzees. 

As part of the agreement, NYBC is providing $6 million in funding to The HSUS, which has agreed to assume permanent responsibility for providing lifetime care for the chimpanzees. Essentially, the groups are splitting the costs for long-term care. In addition to providing food and medical care, The HSUS will construct basic shelter and care facilities for the chimpanzees for the remainder of their lives. The HSUS will seek support from the public to help raise the remainder of the needed funds.   

“I am delighted that these two organizations have agreed on a path forward that provides lifetime care for these long-lived and social creatures,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “The HSUS will work with its members and others to find the resources to make sure these chimpanzees know only human kindness for the remainder of their lives.”

NYBC’s president and CEO, Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer, stated that he is “pleased that we have found a capable organization to take care of the chimpanzees for their lifetime.  This agreement allows NYBC to focus on its mission of providing stem cell and transfusion-related products to the more than 20 million individuals in the greater New York region and throughout the nation and internationally.”

The organizations agree that NYBC has now met its obligation to the chimpanzees and are pleased with the plan to create a permanent and suitable sanctuary for these long-lived animals.  

Bill Richardson, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and founder of the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, assisted with the negotiations. “This is a good plan that NYBC and HSUS have crafted,” said Governor Richardson “There’s now a clear pathway to care for these chimpanzees in the decades ahead.”

Some of the chimpanzees could live for another 40 years or more. People who would like to support the work of The HSUS and its affiliate, Humane Society International, to care for the Liberia chimpanzees can donate online at: www.humanesociety.org/liberiasanctuary or www.humanesociety.org/liberiachimps.

Media Contacts:

Humane Society of the United States: Thaisi Da Silva, tdasilva@humanesociety.org, 301-258-1497
New York Blood Center (NYBC): Robert Purvis, 212-570-3160; rpurvis@nybc.org

Donate now to support the work of The HSUS and its affiliate, Humane Society International, to care for the Liberia chimpanzees