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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Media Coverage

Group complains about ULL center

Advocate Acadiana bureau
Published: Jan 28, 2009

NEW IBERIA — An Ohio-based animal-rights organization claims nine primates at University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center died because their illnesses were ignored by staff.

The group, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said Tuesday that it has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. On Tuesday afternoon, USDA officials could not confirm receipt of the complaint.

Johnny Hardcastle, head of animal resources at the primate center, said he did not know of any USDA investigation of animal health. He said that if officials are notified of such an investigation, they will cooperate.

The animal-rights group alleges that the research center violated the Animal Welfare Act, which requires research facilities to provide adequate veterinary care.

The complaint letter, dated Tuesday and signed by the group’s executive director Michael Budkie, provides details of conditions that may have contributed to the deaths of nine animals — three chimpanzees, four rhesus monkeys and two infant primates. Some of the undiagnosed illnesses alleged by Budkie include: maternal trauma/neglect, septicemia, gastric bloat and toxemia.

The group seeks fines and suspensions of projects at the New Iberia Research Center, which has a veterinary sciences division.

“Overall, the animals and incidents discussed indicate inadequate observation of these animals and inadequate treatment, if not veterinary negligence,” Budkie wrote.

According to its Web site, the university’s research center specializes in the “breeding, management and importation” of nonhuman primates for research purposes.

According to the site, the center’s veterinary services division animal observations are conducted a minimum of twice a day and abnormal health observations are reported to a staff veterinarian.

The USDA conducts unannounced visits to research facilities at least once a year to ensure compliance with the Animal Welfare Act.   

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