The Humane Society and New York Blood Center Announce Landmark Agreement for Care of Liberian Chimpanzees

For over a year the Richardson Center has collaborated with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in an effort to make the New York Blood Center accountable for the chimpanzees they used in medical research testing. The New York Blood Center had decided to pull their support of the chimpanzees who could not survive in the wild, causing The HSUS to step in and provide food and care for the helpless chimps. Governor Richardson, being a passionate wildlife advocate, fought alongside HSUS President Wayne Pacelle, in an effort to persuade The New York Blood Center to continue supporting the chimpanzees. Today The New York Blood center has agreed to providing $6 million in funding to The HSUS, which is assuming permanent responsibility for providing lifetime care for the chimpanzees. Governor Richardson is pleased with the outcome stating, “this is a good plan that NYBC and HSUS have crafted. There’s now a clear pathway to care for these chimpanzees in the decades ahead.”


*WILL PROVIDE MORE COMPLETE CAPTIONS AFTER EDIT SELECTION (Jenny Desmond offered to help with names of individual chimps). A team from HSUS visit Liberia in West Africa to view situation with research chimpanzees abandoned by New York Blood Center, which stopped all funding for food and water and also refused to pay for their caregivers who used their own finances to continue feeding them. They now live on six islands serving as a sanctuary run by Jenny and Jim Desmond. The HSUS/HIS has stepped in to assist and improve the dire situation in which the chimpanzees were literally left to die if not for the heroic efforts of their original caregivers who had worked for New York Blood Center and were abandoned as well. (Photo by Carol Guzy for HSUS/HSI March 9, 2016)

The Humane Society of the United States and the New York Blood Center, Inc. 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. The 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 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: or