The Humane Society of the United States (The HSUS) and the New York Blood Center, Inc. (NYBC) 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. 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 the 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.

The HSUS Media Contact: Anna West: 240-751-2669; awest@humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people, and visit us online at humanesociety.org.

NYBC Media Contact: Robert Purvis: 212-570-3160; rpurvis@nybc.org

New York Blood Center (NYBC) is a nonprofit organization that is one of the largest independent, community-based blood centers in the country. Founded in 1964, NYBC, along with its partner organizations Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City (CBC) and Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), based St. Paul, Minnesota, collect approximately 3,300 units of blood products each day, serving local communities of more than 25 million people in New York, New Jersey, parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the Kansas City metropolitan area, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

NYBC and its partners also provide a wide array of transfusion-related medical services, while NYBC’s National Cord Blood Program (NCBP) is home to the world’s largest public cord blood bank. NYBC is also home to a renowned research institute, which — among other milestones — led to the development of a Hepatitis B vaccine and innovative blood purification technology.

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