Letter of Complaint to USDA - 23 Mar 2012

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Letter of Complaint to USDA - 23 Mar 2012

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March 23, 2012

FROM SAEN
1081-B St. Rt. 28 #280
Milford, Ohio 45150
513-575-5517
www.saenonline.org

TO Dr. Robert Gibbens 3/23/12
Director, Western Region
USDA/APHIS/AC
2150 Center Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
Dr. Gibbens,

I am contacting you today because I am concerned about the high number of traumatic injuries which have taken place at the New Iberia Research Center of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette (72-R-0007). There are many issues which have come to light during the examination of federal reports which I have obtained, they include at least one primate escape, and a high level of traumatic injuries, many of which were fatal.

On July 20, 2011 primate A3E053 is listed as having a diagnosis of “Posr(t) escape monitoring.” In other words, this is clearly an animal is being monitored after an escape from an enclosure, potentially violating 9 C.F.R. 3.80(a)(2)(iii) Primary enclosures, 9 C.F.R. 3.75(a) Housing facilities and or2.32 Personnel Qualifications.

Reports which we have obtained from the federal government reveal a large number of traumatic injuries at NIRC, many of which were fatal. We believe that it is very likely that these injuries may have been caused by or were related to other Animal Welfare Act violations. The incidents/deaths are listed below:

  • On May 17, 2010, a post-mortem was performed on a fourteen year old female primate #H541 who died of traumatic injuries.
  • On June 2, 2010, a 14 year old female primate #H571 died of widespread abscessation.
  • On July 17, 2011, a 5 year old female primate #A6V010 died and was necropsied, and one of the possible conditions listed was “terminal shock secondary to trauma.”
  • On July 18, 2011 a 2 1/2 month old female primate #A11V014 died of trauma/neglect.
  • On May 1, 2011, a 3 day old male primate #A11E012 died of traumatic injuries.
  • On April 4, 2011, a 10 year old Female primate, AX95 died of trauma/shock.
  • On April 5, 2011, a 1 week old Female primate, A11V004 died of trauma.
  • On March 2, 2011, a 4 year old female primate #A6V069 died of trauma/shock.
  • On March 9, 2011, a male infant primate #A10V044 died of enteritis/trauma.
  • On March 19, 2011, a 1 year old female primate #A10V0305 died of trauma.
  • On March 20, 2011, an 8 year old female primate #02C048 died of “Traumatic multi organ failure.”

We believe that these incidents may have potentially violated several sections of the Animal Welfare Act including but not limited to: Section 2.33 Veterinary Care. (b)(2) The use of approullpriate methods to prevent, control, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries; and (b)(3) daily observation of animals. Section 2.38 Miscellaneous (f)(1) handling; Section 2.131 Animal Handling; 2.32 Personnel Qualifications, etc.

Since the documents in my possession deal with only a fraction of the animals at this lab, it is imperative that all other deaths at this facility caused by trauma must be investigated as well.
As this investigation is likely to bring to light more violations by the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, I must also insist that this facility receive the maximum in penalties for these infractions, especially since these incidents are directly relevant to the deaths of many animals.
I expect that your office will reply to this correspondence within five business days.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T.,
Executive Director, SAEN

Attachments: NIH Records relevant to the New Iberia Research Center
CC: OIG

See also:

Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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