Target: Dr. Christopher D. Hillyer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Blood Center
Goal: Financially support dozens of abandoned chimpanzees after their use in medical testing.
More than 60 chimpanzees have been left forgotten and starving on the islands of Liberia despite a promise by the New York Blood Center to financially support them for the remainder of their lives. For over 30 years, these chimps were used in the blood center’s hepatitis research that was conducted in a Liberian lab through a partnership with the Liberian government. However, over a decade ago, the research was completed and the chimps were left to roam free on their own series of islands. For 10 years, the blood center supported the animals that had worked for them.
However, in 2015, the blood center ended its financial funding of the chimps. This left only the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research to care for the animals. It is a costly endeavor, about $20,000 a month, which the institute cannot manage alone.
The islands on which the chimps now live are not able to sustain natural food sources and do not offer drinkable water, and the animals are not accustomed to finding food on their own. After 30 years in captivity and being subjected to research for the profit of one organization, these chimps have been left to fend for themselves.
The New York Blood Center sees yearly revenues of more than $300 million. It has the assets available to care for the animals that were forced to give up more than half of their lives for experimentation and research. Sign the petition to demand that the blood center take responsibility for the chimpanzees while also maintaining its promise to the animals and the Liberian government.
Dear Dr. Hillyer,
Beginning in the 1970s, the New York Blood Center began a 30-year research program on hepatitis using chimpanzees as experimentation subjects. The animals were subjected to numerous studies and drugs, oftentimes with damaging consequences. When the research ended and the animals retired, they were left to roam on their own islands and were supported for more than a decade by your organization.
However, your organization has since cut off funding for these chimps that have done so much for it. The islands the chimps inhabit do not offer much food or water and the Liberian Institute for Biological Research, with whom you once had a strong partnership, has been forced to foot the bill of more than $20,000 a month to support the animals you have abandoned.
For 30 years, all these animals knew was experimentation while depending on the care of others. Now they have been forgotten. With a revenue of more than $300 million a year, your organization is more than capable of supporting these struggling animals. I demand that you take action to care for the chimpanzees that are now living out the final years of their lives in starvation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Thomas Lersch