Editor’s Note 5/30/17: GOOD NEWS! The HSUS and the New York Blood Center have announced an agreement to provide long-term sanctuary for the Liberian chimpanzees. Read the update.

Rock music icon Joan Jett has voiced her support for the more than 60 chimpanzees the New York Blood Center abandoned in Liberia after exploiting the animals for decades in harmful biomedical research. Jett fired off the following open-letter to NYBC chief executive, Dr. Christopher Hillyer, urging the NYBC to reinstate funding for the care of the abandoned chimps:

September 6, 2016

Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
New York Blood Center

Dear Dr. Hillyer,

I am sickened to learn from my friends at the Humane Society of the United States that after multiple meetings and more than 18 months, you continue to balk at offering a reasonable and humane solution for the more than 60 chimpanzees your organization experimented on and left to die on islands off the coast of Liberia.

Why do you think the financial burden for the care of these chimpanzees rests with hard-working Americans who have hearts bigger than yours? Or organizations with far fewer resources than the NYBC; or a country like Liberia that has only begun recovery from the worst Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen? How do you sleep at night having profited hundreds of millions of dollars off of the lives of these animals—many of whom were experimented on since they were infants—only to leave them high and dry with no access to food or water? This is your legacy. Why don’t you care about your bad reputation, Dr. Hillyer?

Every day that passes and every excuse you give only makes you look even more heartless. Thankfully, we Americans believe in forgiveness and second chances. I urge you to make things right.

Yours sincerely,
Joan Jett

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