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Leaders Express Outrage Over NY Blood Center’s Decision to Abandon Lab Chimps

June 2, 2015 by Leave a Comment

The News

After ignoring inquiries from animal advocacy groups for weeks, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) admitted to the NY Times that it abandoned 66 former lab chimps in Liberia, leaving them to starve to death after using them in experiments for three decades: “We never had any obligation for care for the chimps, contractual or otherwise.” The NYBC’s stunning admission has sent shockwaves through great ape conservation and animal protection organizations worldwide.

NYBC has abandoned chimps who they used in experiments in Liberia from 1974 - 2006

NYBC has abandoned chimps who they used in experiments in Liberia from 1974 – 2006

In a public letter to the NYBC, Jane Goodall, the legendary chimpanzee researcher said it’s “completely shocking and unacceptable that NYBC would abandon these chimpanzees,” adding that it has a “moral obligation to continue to care for them for the remainder of their lives.”

Jane Goodall has expressed outrage at the NYBC's decision to abandon their research chimps

Jane Goodall has expressed outrage at the NYBC’s decision to abandon their research chimps (photo: National Geographic)

Betsy Brotman, the head of NYBC’s chimpanzee research program from 1974 – 2006, suggested that her former employer’s effort to shift responsibility to the Liberian government is unethical and deceptive: “We brought those chimps to the Institute and encouraged them to breed. This had nothing to do with the Liberian government.”

Betsy Brotman ran the NY Blood Center's chimp research facility in Liberia

Betsy Brotman ran the NY Blood Center’s chimp research facility in Liberia

Ms. Brotman, who says that NYBC has an obligation to pay for the care of the chimps, is outraged by the organization’s callousness: “This is awful. It’s unspeakably awful.” Primatologist Brian Hare agrees. In an interview with the NY times, Dr Hare, who has studied wild and captive great apes around the world, said he has “never seen anything even remotely as disgusting as this.”

Caretaker feeds New York Blood Center's former lab chimps

Caretaker feeds New York Blood Center’s former lab chimps

Florida Attorney Wally Baldwin, a Board Member of Center for Great Apes, said “When the news broke that the NYBC was abandoning the chimps, I thought they’d say ‘there’s been a misunderstanding’ and reinstate the funding. I was stunned to discover that the news was true.”

Christopher Hillyer, CEO of NYBC who earns over $1.2 million/year, has left chimps to starve to death.

Christopher Hillyer, CEO of NYBC who earns over $1.2 million/year, has left chimps to starve

The NYBC has attributed its decision to cut funding for the chimps to difficult economic times for blood banks. Michael Budkie, the Director of Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) says that’s a poor excuse: “The NYBC has $400 million in assets; earns $320 million in annual income; and pays its President, Christopher Hillyer, over $1.2 million a year. Do they really expect us to believe that they don’t have the money to provide food and water for these animals?”

Your Turn

Please join the Facebook page New York Blood Center: Do the Right Thing and participate in the calls to action.

Call Christopher Hillyer, the President & CEO of the NY Blood Center, and demand that his organization fulfills its obligation and promise to provide lifelong care to the chimpanzees used in their medical experiments: (212) 570-3000.


Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Susan S says:

    We condemn other countries for cruelty to animals, but this country is no different for allowing something so horrible. This is shameful! What an asshole!

  2. Joshua says:

    We are requesting the removal of Christopher Hillyer CEO of New York Blood Center from the human population. That he be labeled toxic and unfit for human contact.

    We are willing to pay a ransom of approximately $25,000. We have gathered funds from the current members of our organization and will offer further details to those sincerely interested in participating.

    Please contact us at: for details.

    Thank you! and God Bless the chimps!

  3. Deborah Roth says:


  4. Carla Quinn says:

    this is disgusting and unforgivable! How dare they torture animals for no reason then leave them to starve!

  5. Badri Narayanan says:

    People must be crazy to use animals of any kind.why can’t the so called scientists do it on their own body.look at these animals aren’t they lovely?

  6. Sharon Mylet says:

    this is ridiculous! ‘a nation is judged by how it treats animals’ (paraphrased).. we are an appalling nation!

  7. Deborah Houshour says:

    Inhumane, indecent and predictable from the rich and superior! Care for these intelligent and magnificent creatures…………..

  8. Sally Rowbottom says:

    Absolutely shameful! You have a moral obligation to care for these chimps – and urgently before it is too late for them.

  9. alma says:

    Animal testing is wrong! Not only are they responsible but they need to be shut down!!

  10. Denise Barragan says:

    why? Why did you just leave them to die

  11. corrina hobson says:

    For all the research in the world why can’t you feed and fresh water the chimps without their help you would have no findings and they helped you so get off your butts and put your self in their place . See how you would feel to starve and be left for dead .

  12. Kathryn Giallonardo says:

    This is very sick human behavior. How you live in your. Skin I’ll never know

  13. Maria DiMaio says:

    Take care of the chimpanzee or they will die u should of never had them out of their own home

  14. pat hermans says:

    Please, stop this crueltys

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