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New York Blood Center Blames Animal Welfare Groups for Plight of Abandoned Chimps

August 10, 2015 by Leave a Comment


The News

One day after activists staged a third protest at the home of its Chairman of the Board on August 4th, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) posted a stunning public statement (Q&A) defending its decision to cut off funding to its former lab chimps (see below).

In the Q&A, which it has since removed from its website, NYBC argues that it neither owns nor has responsibility for the chimps; that the blame for their plight lies with animal welfare organizations who refused to take them; and that their priority is helping humans, not chimpanzees.

With no natural food on the islands where they were relocated, the chimps eagerly await the delivery of food

With no natural food on the islands where they were relocated, the chimps eagerly await the delivery of food

“We have no obligation to these chimpanzees.”  In an effort to distance itself from its chimps, NYBC asserts that the government of Liberia owns them and is responsible for their care. Nowhere in its statement does NYBC acknowledge that they captured the chimps from the wild; bred them in captivity; conducted experiments on them for 30 years; and dropped them off on islands with no natural food and water, rendering them totally dependent on humans for survival.

Language about ownership in contracts between NYBC and the government of Liberia doesn’t change the fact that NYBC has a moral obligation to pay for their care. In fact, previous executives at NYBC publicly acknowledged this obligation.

new york blood center

In its Q&A, NYBC asserts that Dr. Prince was not authorized to make this statement.

“The animal welfare groups did nothing to help us.” NYBC claims that it attempted to work with animal welfare organizations to find a long term solution for the chimps, but, according to individuals involved in those discussions, NYBC merely attempted to shift the responsibility to these groups without offering to pay for the expenses, such as expanding the sanctuaries to accommodate the chimps and providing them with food and medical care for the remainder of their lives. During these discussions, NYBC was well aware of the fact that great ape sanctuaries in Africa, which are chronically short on space and financial resources, could not assume the millions of dollars in costs associated with caring for its chimps.

Chimp greet a volunteer who brings them food

Chimp greet a volunteer who brings them food

“Our obligation is to humans. Other organizations better suited to funding and supporting the chimps.” NYBC also justifies its decision to eliminate funding for the chimps on the grounds that humans are a greater priority: “Our mission is to save lives here in the United States. NYBC’s responsibility is to blood donors, hospitals and patients.”

Even if one subscribes to the point of view that humans are more worthy of life than other animals, NYBC doesn’t have to make that choice. The organization, which pays its President over $1.2 million and has $450 million in assets, has earned $500 million in royalties from their chimp research. Even if NYBC was not a wealthy organization backed by some of the biggest corporations in the United States, it would still have a moral obligation to pay for the care of their chimps.

Jane-goodall

Jane Goodall’s letter to the New York Blood Center

In a demonstration of its lack of ethics, NYBC describes the islands to which they relocated the chimps as “sanctuaries,” even though they have no caretakers, facilities or infrastructure. Given that the chimps had no survival skills and were traumatized by decades of experiments, they should have been relocated to accredited sanctuaries where they would have received much needed care as soon as they were released. Instead, they have been struggling to survive on isolated islands, at times going several days without food and water. Over the years, many of the chimps have needlessly died from starvation.

In a statement entitled “Left To Die In Liberia,” the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) paints a picture of just how difficult the animals’ lives on the islands: “One chimp bargained for food by offering his leg to the caregivers, as he would have done in the lab when being darted.”

chimp-research-liberia-cage

Captive chimp at NYBC’s research facility in Liberia

Q&A Posted on NYBC's website on August 6th

Q&A Posted on NYBC’s website on August 6th

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook page New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing in order to participate in the online actions and keep apprised of the campaign to compel NYBC to reinstate funding for the chimps.



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TheirTurn.net Comments

  1. sandra kay north says:

    I WORKED FOR THE NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER FROM MID 1992 TO MID 1995 AS PR DIRECTOR. MY BOSS, CAROL HERMAN (JANIS) CONSTANTLY JOKED ABOUT HAVING TO FUND THE MONKEY’S RETIREMENT, WHICH THE BLOOD CENTER WAS REQUIRED TO DO. HER DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR, CAROLE BERNE, ALWAYS LAUGHED HILARIOUSLY AT THIS PROSPECT. THE DIRECTORS OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL LABS WERE ARROGANT AND NOT ENGAGED IN THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. DR. PRINCE ENGAGED THE MONKEYS AS WELL AS AN ANOREXIC MISTRESS WHO WORKED IN HIS LAB, AND INTERMITTENTLY HE THE HARASSED STAFF. DR. JOHN ADAMSON, THEN HEAD OF THE BLOOD CENTER, TRIED TO FLOAT ABOVE IT ALL, AND TO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HE WAS VERY MUCH RESPONSIBLE FOR.

    CELSO BIANCO WAS COMPLICIT IN ALL CRIMES.

  2. Denise says:

    This story is so sad and really speaks to corporate greed and indifference. Animal testing has been proven to be unnecessary and of course is extremely cruel. It’s horrible how these animals are being discarded as they are no longer useful to NY Blood Center. Great article and luckily the chimps have you reporting on the situation.

  3. Randy Janssen says:

    Groups like the HSUS are animal rights fakes. They raise money by pretending to take care of dogs and cats and then spend most of it on ads to raise more money, pensions and salaries. The only thing the national animal rights groups like the ASPCA, HSUS and PETA seem to be good at, is publicity to raise money. Their idea of animal protection is internet attacks on farmers and ranchers. Taking care of animals is way down at the bottom of their agenda.

    These are from a local animal shelter’s plea for money:

    Please keep in mind, we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and do not receive any help from ASPCA, HSUS, PETA, etc. We need your donations to help keep our doors open so we can continue helping local homeless pets as we have for the past 30-plus years. Specify who your tax-deductible donation is for with complete address where notification or acknowledgment should be sent and your complete address. We will do the rest.
    This is from another shelter:
    We’ve all seen the Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials — and become numb to them. Don’t get us wrong, we want to help the animals, but we’re not really sure how the horrific images and sad song really does anything for local shelters. But when Charleston Animal Society and C. Wonder team up on Fri. May 30, we’ll know where the money goes. And you get a little something too for helping out the cause — breakfast and 10 percent off your full-price purchases. During the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., C. Wonder (285 King St.) will donate 20 percent of the event’s proceeds to the shelter.

    A third shelter said this:

    Make CHS Your Pet Project

    The Casper Humane Society is not supported by city, state, or national funds (including The Humane Society of the United States). All revenue comes from donations, bequests, memorials, adoption fees, and fund drives.

    The problem with national animal rights groups is that the talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.
    They just seem to be in it for the money. If you want to help animals, give to your local shelter.

    1. Dana says:

      It is so obvious that Randy Janssen is a troll- posting this same anti HSUS propaganda everywhere. Tiresome indeed.

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