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Advocates Confront New York Blood Center Employees Over Abandoned Chimps

March 27, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

Advocates fighting on behalf of the chimpanzees abandoned by the New York Blood Center (NYBC) confronted employees during a recent protest staged at the organization’s corporate headquarters.  In an effort to ignore the advocates and avoid being recorded, the employees exiting the building looked down the sidewalk and covered their faces. None expressed remorse about the crime committed by their organization.

After conducting research experiments on almost 500 chimpanzees for 30 years and promising to provide the survivors with lifelong care, NYBC abandoned 66 chimps with no food or water on islands in Liberia, leaving them to die of starvation and thirst.  Using money donated by members of the public, Citigroup and The Richardson Center for Global Engagement, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has stepped in on an emergency basis to cover the monthly costs associated with feeding the chimps.

Chimps abandoned by NY Blood Center (Photo: Jenny Desmond for HSUS)

The NY Blood Center, which has earned hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimps, has been condemned by its own corporate donors and in the media. In a New York Times article about the scandal, Dr. Brian Hare, an anthropologist and primatologist at Duke University, said, “I have studied great apes for 20 years in all contexts across the globe — labs, zoos, sanctuaries, the wild” and others. “Never, ever have I seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this.”

Among the many organizations that have spoken out against the New York Blood Center are Citigroup, MetLife and the Jane Goodall Institute

The approximate cost of feeding the chimps and paying their Liberian caregivers is $25,000/month, a small sum for an organization that earns over $300 million/year selling blood donated by the public. Advocates speculate NYBC is refusing to reinstate funding for the chimps not because of the cost but because the Chairman of the Board, Howard Milstein, does not want to cave in to pressure.  Following is an excerpt from Washington Post profile about Milstein:

“He’s not the kind of guy who backs down,” said Congressional Institute senior fellow Helen Kanovsky, a longtime friend who introduced Milstein to his future wife. In the rare cases when Milstein doesn’t get his way, he gets mad — and then he tries to get even, often through litigation….“He’s arrogant and difficult,” a former business associate said. “If you work with him, you have to understand: there’s only one way and it’s Howard’s way.”

NY Blood Center insiders say Chairman of the Board Howard Milstein “calls all the shots”

Advocates say the campaign targeting the NY Blood Center and its major donors will continue until the organization fulfills its promise to provide lifelong care to the survivors of its experiments.

 


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Chimp Advocates Stage Disruption in IBM’s Lobby

January 24, 2017 by Leave a Comment


The News

After being strung along for months with promises from IBM, advocates fighting on behalf of the chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center (NYBC) staged a disruption in the company’s lobby in NYC. IBM is one of NYBC’s largest corporate partners.

Over the past four months, IBM gave advocates the distinct impression that the company was genuinely concerned about the abandoned chimps and that it planned to demand accountability from NYBC, which operates a lucrative blood collection site at an IBM campus in upstate New York. Advocates now realize that company’s ongoing expression of concern was merely strategy to contain them — with the hope that they would go away.

Advocates say that, as IBM misled the community by stringing them along, a real atrocity with real victims was taking place. Advocates also say that, as long as IBM continues to turn a blind eye to NYBC’s crime while maintaining a mutually beneficial alliance with the organization, the company remains complicit.

Advocates stage protest at IBM building in NYC (Photo by Michael Whitley Photography
@JiveAssTofurkey)

For a 30 year period starting in the mid-1970s, NYBC conducted experiments on approximately 500 chimpanzees in Liberia, where they could capture, breed and experiment on them with little regulatory oversight. After completing the research, NYBC moved the survivors onto six islands with no natural food or water and made a public commitment to provide them with lifelong care.

The NY Blood Center made a promise to provide their chimpanzees with lifelong care.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding,” leaving the chimps to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by NYBC to deliver food and water, began to care for them on a volunteer basis. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, these volunteers kept the chimpanzees alive until a coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups, led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis.

Chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center on islands in Liberia

NYBC, which has earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimpanzees, has publicly stated that it has no “contractual obligation” to pay for the chimps’ food and water and has shifted the financial burden of caring for their captive chimp population to the animal welfare community. Advocates are now demanding that NYBC’s corporate partners, like IBM, hold the organization accountable for its crime.

Your Turn

Sign the petition to IBM.

Use this tweet sheet, which targets IBM and other NY Blood Center partners.

Join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure the NY Blood Center to provide lifelong care to their former laboratory chimps.


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Advocates Disrupt Dr. Laurie Glimcher Over NY Blood Center Chimp Abandonment Crisis

September 29, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

One minute after Dr. Laurie Glimcher began speaking at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, animal rights advocates launched out of their seats to disrupt – and ruin – her presentation. Glimcher, who served on the board of the New York Blood Center (NYBC) when the organization decided to abandon 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia, has refused to address the crisis since advocates approached her in mid-2015.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding” for its former lab chimpanzees, leaving the animals to die of starvation and thirst. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, volunteers in Liberia kept the chimpanzees alive until an HSUS-led coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis — until NYBC reinstates funding.

Laurie Glimcher is escorted out of the room during the disruption.

Laurie Glimcher is escorted out of the room during the disruption.

In 2015 and 2016, activists in NYC staged almost twenty protests targeting Dr. Glimcher at her Upper East Side home and at Cornell Medical College, where she served as the Dean.  Activists in Boston have taken over the campaign because Glimcher moved to Boston to become the CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Animal rights activists in Philadelphia disrupted Laurie Glimcher, who served on NY Blood Center board when it abandoned chimpanzees

Animal rights activists in Philadelphia disrupted Laurie Glimcher, who served on NY Blood Center board when it abandoned chimpanzees

Your Turn

Join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure the NY Blood Center to provide lifelong care to their former laboratory chimps.

In a letter to the NY Blood Center, Jane Goodall said the organization has a moral obligation to pay for the chimps' care.

In a letter to the NY Blood Center, Jane Goodall said the organization has a moral obligation to pay for the chimps’ care.


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Neighbors of NY Blood Center Exec Michael Hodin Lambaste Chimp Advocates Over Nighttime Protests (VIDEO)

August 28, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

After staging over 10 daytime protests at the home on New York Blood Center (NYBC) Board Member Michael Hodin and receiving no response, animal rights activists escalated their campaign by staging three nighttime protests, a change that is infuriating his neighbors. Hodin, along with his NYBC colleagues, abandoned 66 chimpanzees on islands in Liberia with no food or water after conducting experiments on them for three decades and making a public promise to provide the survivors with lifelong care.

As Hodin watched two of the protests from the windows of his multi-million dollar apartment, his neighbors, most of whom ignored the activists for months during the daytime protests, lambasted them for the nighttime disruptions. Activists told his angry neighbors to “take it up with Hodin.”

Activists plan to resume the night time protests at Hodin’s building after Labor Day, when area residents return from their summer vacations.

 

Your Turn

Use the tweet sheet to contact the NYBC and its corporate donors.

Sign the Care2 petition to MetLife, NYBC’s largest corporate donor.

Join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure NYBC board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.

Follow TheirTurn on Twitter, and follow “Save NYBC Chimps”on Instagram and Twitter.


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Advocates March to Home of MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian To Protest Abandoned Chimps

July 28, 2016 by Leave a Comment


The News

In spite of petitions, protests and letters from concerned citizens around the world, MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian continues to ignore the abandoned chimp crisis created by the New York Blood Center (NYBC), an organization that the company bankrolls.  Dozens of activists, therefore, took the campaign to his home in Summit, NJ, an exclusive suburb of NYC, for the second time since May 2015.

Activists march through Summit, NJ, the home of MetLife's CEO.

Activists march through Summit, NJ, to the home of MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian.

Activists marched from Summit’s train station to Kandarian’s home and back, all the while engaging with and distributing leaflets to Mandarin’s neighbors and other Summit residents. While some were annoyed by the presence of activists in a quiet suburb, others were eager to learn about the issue.

Activists protest in Summit, NJ, the home of MetLife's CEO.

Activists protest in Summit, NJ, the home of MetLife’s CEO.

“We are sorry that it has come to the point that we have to show up on Kandarian’s doorstep,” said Donny Moss, one of the organizers. “We are also genuinely confused about why a company that prides itself on corporate social responsibility is not only turning a blind eye to an atrocity being committed by an organization that it supports but also refusing to publicly address the crisis in spite of pleas by thousands of people worldwide.”

Activists protest at the home of MetLife's CEO, Steven Mandarin.

Activists protest at the home of MetLife’s CEO, Steven Mandarin.

“Tap Into Summit,” a local news outlet, reported on the protest both before and after.

The protest was covered by "Tap into Summit," a local news outlet.

The protest was covered by “Tap into Summit,” a local news outlet.

In November, 2015, primatologist Bob Ingersoll traveled from San Francisco to NYC to hand-deliver a petition to MetLife asking the company to cut its support of NYBC until the organization reinstates promised funding for its former lab chimps. While a representative from MetLife did collect the petitions from Mr. Ingersoll in the lobby, neither she nor anyone else from the company responded to him.

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers petitions to a MetLife representative.

Primatologist Bob Ingersoll delivers petitions to a MetLife representative.

On April 26, activists staged a 30-minute disruption in the lobby of the MetLife building during rush hour. Two weeks later, they protested at the New Jersey home of MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian. On June 14, activists held a demonstration at MetLife’s annual shareholders meeting. To date, MetLife has ignored all of the protests and the efforts to open a dialog regarding the chimpanzee crisis.

Activists stage a disruption in the MetLife building's lobby.

Activists stage a disruption in the MetLife building’s lobby.

In May, 2015, the NY Times reported that NYBC had “withdrawn all funding for them [the chimps],” leaving them  to die of starvation and thirst. In order to keep the chimps alive, Liberians who had been employed by the blood center to deliver food and water, began to care for them on a volunteer basis. With virtually no resources and burdened by the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, these volunteers kept the chimpanzees alive until an HSUS-led coalition of over 30 animal conservation groups raised funds from the public to pay for the chimps’ care on an emergency basis.

chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center

Chimpanzees in Liberia abandoned by the NY Blood Center

The New York Blood Center, which has earned an estimated $500 million in royalties off of the research conducted on the chimpanzees, has publicly stated that it has no “contractual obligation” to pay for the chimps’ food and water and has shifted the financial burden of caring for their captive chimp population to the animal welfare community.

chimpanzees abandoned by the NY Blood Center receive food from a local volunteer

A Liberian volunteer distributes food to chimps abandoned by the NY Blood Center

Your Turn

Use the tweet sheet to contact MetLife, NYBC and their stakeholders.

Sign the Care2 petition to MetLife, NYBC’s largest corporate donor.

Join the Facebook page: New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing to stay apprised of news and to participate in online actions to pressure NYBC board members to fulfill their promise to provide lifelong care to their laboratory chimps.

Follow TheirTurn on Twitter, and follow “Save NYBC Chimps”on Instagram and Twitter.


Filed under: Experimentation
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