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Good News: The Chimpanzees in Liberia Will be Receiving the Care They Need and Deserve

Breaking news: The HSUS, New York Blood Center announce landmark agreement for care of Liberian chimpanzees

May 30, 2017

Today, The HSUS announces a major, multi-million-dollar agreement with the New York Blood Center (NYBC) concerning more than 60 chimpanzees formerly used by the NYBC in medical experiments in Liberia. The New York-based medical charity has committed $6 million to The HSUS to help with the decades-long task of providing long-term care for the animals. This morning’s joint announcement signals a critical turnaround in The HSUS’s relationship with the NYBC. Most importantly, it provides financial resources for the careful stewardship of these chimpanzees, who deserve every measure of human mercy after the travails they’ve endured.

In 2015, The HSUS and Humane Society International responded to an emergent crisis and began to care for the chimpanzees on a set of estuarine islands in Liberia with insufficient natural food and water resources. Dedicated individuals took it upon themselves to provide enough food and water for the chimpanzees to survive in the first days, but the circumstance required the intervention of a party that had the staying power to provide daily care to the animals. With the support of the Liberian government and more than 35 animal protection and conservation organizations worldwide, The HSUS stepped in, bringing on many of the chimps’ long-term caregivers to provide boots on the ground for the animals. We’ve been there ever since, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a month. We have a staff of more than 30 people operating the facility, led by great ape specialists Dr. Jim Desmond and Jenny Desmond, as well as John Zeonyuway and Joseph Thomas, who have worked with the chimpanzees in Liberia for decades.

To care for these animals, we had to confront some extreme logistical, security, and personnel challenges, in addition to shouldering responsibility for the immense financial liabilities that this intervention required. In the broadest sense, we were mindful that chimpanzees are long-lived, and our response to this crisis essentially obligated us to a 40-year commitment and millions of dollars to provide proper housing, enrichment, and veterinary care for them.

The crux of the agreement announced today stipulates that the NYBC and The HSUS are effectively splitting costs for long-term care of the chimpanzees, which will include day-to-day care and also the construction of improved sanctuary facilities. The HSUS and HSI will take on responsibility for the lifetime care of the chimpanzees and will seek support from our supporters and others to help raise the remainder of the needed funds.

I am pleased to express my thanks to the NYBC for making this very generous and important commitment. I’d be remiss, too, if I did not offer our sincerest expression of gratitude to thousands of individuals and dozens of organizations whose generosity and kindness allowed us to help the chimps for the past two years, providing a bridge to an even more secure future with the new facilities we intend to build. This project has required an ensemble cast, and I offer additional earnest appreciation to the government of Liberia, the Arcus Foundation, Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute, Duke University scientist Brian Hare, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, actors and animal advocates Kate and Rooney Mara, the American Anti-Vivisection Society, and the Liberia Animal Welfare and Conservation Society. And the most important thanks are reserved for our incredible chimpanzee care team on the ground.

The HSUS and HSI plan to work hand in hand with the government of Liberia in the years ahead, and that partnership will be critical given that the chimps have been through very difficult circumstances and need round-the-clock care.

The additional millions we must raise are still a very substantial financial burden we must bear, but we do so knowing of the steadfast resolve and commitment of our supporters. We intend to start building an endowment for the care of these chimps today, rather than leaving the task to future generations of leaders and other supporters of The HSUS. I hope you’ll join us in celebrating the HSUS-NYBC agreement and adding to the $6 million endowment by making a donation to this Liberian chimp fund online at: www.humanesociety.org/liberiasanctuary or www.humanesociety.org/liberiachimps.

Read more here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2017/05/30/dozens-of-research-chimps-were-abandoned-on-liberian-islands-a-battle-over-their-fate-is-now-over/?utm_term=.1a08c1f5527d#comments

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What Is the Difference between a Dog Farm and a Hog Farm?

The only difference

If you ever have attended a western-style barbecue you will most certainly have seen a pig being roasted over a fire. And if you have traveled through some parts of Asia you might have come across a dog on a spike being roasted over a fire pit.

If you go shopping through almost any super market in the western hemisphere you will come across rows and rows of products made from animals such as pigs, cows, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and maybe some rabbits, too. They will hardly ever still be recognizable as coming from any of these beings, because how would you cook a whole cow? Even a rabbit still wearing her fur coat seems to be unappealing to the appetite of someone who would most happily chew on a part of her. There also might be different varieties of animals from the sea, some fish will be lying on ice, others have been cut into smaller pieces so that you no longer know who was chopped up into easily cookable portions. And you might see tanks with live animals like lobsters and other sea creatures.

In many Asian markets and food stores, you will see a different variety of foods, including different animals displayed either in bits and pieces or as a whole for human consumption. If you have ever walked over a farmer’s market in different parts of the world you will certainly have come across whole chickens hanging – either still alive or having been killed recently – from wooden beams. There will be goats and sheep cut open, their intestines removed, but otherwise still easily recognizable as the animals that would have walked to the market with the farmer. There will be cages with chickens, birds, and, depending where in the world you are, maybe with monkeys, maybe with dogs.

More and more stories have come up recently showing us pictures of dog farms in Korea. And of these farms being raided by animal rights organizations, taking the dogs and rescuing them from being slaughtered for human consumption. What would a farmer in Iowa, North Carolina, Germany, China, or Russia say, if a group of people would rescue their pigs and cows from the slaughterhouse? If this group of people would say that the way they have been treating these animals in their care is inhumane and therefore these beings need to be rescued? If these people would say that it is inhumane to eat such a being because it is a sentient being?

Humane education is one of the most important parts in raising awareness, in leading a path away from inhumane traditions, in bringing insight into the plight of millions of animals. Pointing with fingers at those who do something differently will probably not lead to a change of thinking. But giving someone the possibility to look at the picture from another angle, and giving someone the chance to decide on their own how to change their ways will most likely lead to a willful readiness in change. And this will not only save those  sentient beings stuck in that cage in this moment but to less cages in the future.

More information can be found here:

https://www.change.org/p/boycott-hyundai-kia-samsung-lg-until-s-korea-bans-the-dog-and-cat-torture-and-consumption/u/15449406?tk=J1dzEIa0oMxu1lb0sGS1DvpeBQQHl2gjFw9VgpRFmg8&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

http://www.mercyforanimals.org/the-problem

http://koreandogs.org

https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/factory-farms

http://humaneeducation.org

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Good News: NIH Will Stop Torture of Monkeys

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-11 um 15.20.15

Photo:PeTA

Several petitions concerning the abhorrent abuse of baby monkeys were available all through this year. PeTA had brought to light the continued cruelty towards baby monkeys who were taken away from their mothers for experimentation. These studies had been going on for decades with no new information being found during the last decade.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have declared an end to these atrocious experiments, this news being confirmed by congressman Brendan Boyle.

PeTA is now discussing with the NIH when and where the monkeys will be released and retired.

You can read more and sign the petition on retiring the monkeys here:

http://investigations.peta.org/nih-baby-monkey-experiments/

http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/nih-send-chimpanzees-sanctuary/?utm_campaign=121115%20VICTORY%20NIH%20Maternal%20Deprivation%20Program%20Ends&utm_source=PETA%20E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

Please share.

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Animals and the Law

It is hard to say what needs to be done first to change the plight of animals: change the human behavior by raising awareness or changing laws according to scientifically based research studies indicating that animals are beings, not things.

The Nonhuman Rights Project believes in the law and has gone to court to fight for the rights of two chimpanzees:

“The New York County Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe issued a 33-page decision in the case of the chimpanzees Hercules and Leo. They are being held in captivity in a Stony Brook University laboratory.

Justice Jaffe denied habeas corpus relief to Hercules and Leo only because, as she wrote, “for now” she is bound by the intermediate appellate court decision in Tommy’s case, which we have placed before the Court of Appeals—New York’s highest Court— seeking further review.

As with Tommy’s and Kiko’s cases, the legal battle will continue as our chimpanzee plaintiffs continue to suffer in captivity the way any self-aware, autonomous being would.

What Justice Jaffe’s decision does is allow us to appeal the decision to First Department which, unlike Justice Jaffe, is not bound by the decision of the Third Department in Tommy’s case.

As we work on what will be a prompt appeal of the decision, we’re pleased also to tell you that:

  • One, Justice Jaffe’s decision was thoughtful and comprehensive. We thank her for so carefully examining our arguments and for having granted the historic Order to Show Cause that compelled the Attorney General’s office to appear in court on May 27th to justify Hercules and Leo’s detention at Stony Brook.
  • Two, Justice Jaffe agreed that the NhRP had standing to litigate on behalf of Hercules and Leo. Indeed, she rejected one by one all the procedural barriers the Attorney General of New York attempted to place before her. She also rejected the argument that “opening the floodgates” to lawsuits on behalf of other nonhuman animals (also known as the “slippery slope” argument) was a sufficient reason for denying relief to Hercules and Leo and refused to follow the appellate decision handed down in Kiko’s case (which is also before the Court of Appeals for further review on our request).
  • Three, she concluded her decision on what we see as a sympathetic, positive note: ´Efforts to extend legal rights to chimpanzees are thus understandable; some day they may even succeed.´We encourage you to read the entire decision and share this news with your friends and fellow nonhuman animal advocates.”

You can read more here:

http://www.nonhumanrightsproject.org

http://www.nonhumanrightsproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Judge-Jaffes-Decision-7-30-15.pdf

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Animals in Court

What approach to changing how humans treat animals is more effective: appealing to the conscience and hearts of humans not to hurt other beings or changing the laws so that other beings besides humans have the same legal status? Here is a group of lawyers fighting in court for the rights of animals:

“A legal team from the Nonhuman Rights Project argued on their behalf of Hercules and Leo — two chimpanzee plaintiffs wrongly imprisoned inside a SUNY animal experimentation laboratory – in a New York Supreme Court. Here are some of the news reports of Hercules’ and Leo’s historic day in court:

For a general overview of the proceedings, follow this link for a short Fox News TV report.

Wired magazine focuses on the fact that Justice Barbara Jaffe decided to call both sides into court for a hearing at all. It quotes me as telling reporters after the hearing that the fact that she held a full hearing represents a victory in itself. “Many human beings have these kinds of hearings,” I said. “Chimpanzees are now being treated like all the other autonomous beings of this world.”

Wired also takes note of how the judge challenged New York Assistant Attorney General Christopher Coulston’s argument that there’s no precedent for a case like this. It is the very essence of the common law, she said, that it “evolves according to new discoveries and social mores.” And so, she asked, “Isn’t it incumbent on judiciaries to at least consider whether a class of beings may be granted a right?”

The New York Times quotes me telling the court that chimpanzees “are the kinds of beings who can remember the past and plan ahead for the future, which is one of the reasons imprisoning a chimp is at least as bad, and maybe worse, than imprisoning a person.” They are enough like humans that they should have a right to “bodily liberty,” even if other rights, like voting or freedom of religion, are beyond them.

The Guardian also takes up the scientific evidence presented by the Nonhuman Rights Project, citing the voluminous research on “chimpanzee intelligence, emotions and consciousness” and noting that Hercules and Leo are “autonomous and self-determining beings.”

Courthouse News picks up on the parallel that the Nonhuman Rights Project draws between the imprisonment of chimpanzees and human slavery, adding that Coulston “bristled” at the comparison. “This language of animals as slaves is exactly what I’m talking about of the slippery slope,” he said, arguing that the case could open up the possibility of court cases on the rights of zoo animals, farmed animals, and even pets.”

Here are the links to more information:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4260819425001/should-chimpanzees-have-the-same-legal-rights-as-humans/?playlist_id=921261890001#sp=show-clips

http://www.wired.com/2015/05/chimpanzee-rights-get-day-court/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/nyregion/arguing-in-court-whether-2-chimps-have-the-right-to-bodily-liberty.html?_r=0

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/27/chimpanzee-animals-rights-new-york-court

http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/05/27/unprecedented-hearing-on-habeas-for-chimps.htm

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/27/410058029/research-chimps-get-their-day-in-court-in-new-york

http://www.wsj.com/articles/chimps-get-their-day-in-court-in-n-y-personhood-hearing-1432756362

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