Protesters rally for chimpanzees in Liberia

- Animal rights activists rallied at City Hall in Manhattan Thursday afternoon in reaction to what they say amounts to animal cruelty by the New York Blood Center.

At issue is a colony of chimpanzees in Liberia. For almost four decades, the New York Blood Center provided funding to care for the chimps, which were used for medical research and testing for diseases like hepatitis and others.

But last March, the Blood Center ended its funding. The Humane Society says the animals were left with water and food sources that were unreliable at best. The Humane Society wants the Blood Center to restore its funding in order for the nearly six dozen chimps to survive.

State Sen. Tony Avella said the Blood Center needs to follow through with a commitment to care for the chimpanzees for their lifespan.

However, the Blood Center says that commitment of lifespan support came from a former facility director not authorized to speak on behalf of the organization.

The Blood Center told Fox 5 that although it ended the chimpanzee research program back in 2004 it continued financial support of the sanctuary to the tune of $30,000 a month for almost a decade.

The Blood Center said it repeatedly sought more assistance from the Liberian government in this matter. Some say even Liberia isn't exactly moving fast as it could be.

The New York Blood Center says it is willing to meet with the Humane Society and its supporters to discuss the matter in Liberia. However right now resuming financial support appears unlikely.

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