Institute Euthanized at Least 300, Group Says

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Please contact Robert W. Rubin, CEO Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI) to protest the needless deaths of 300 monkeys and 100 dogs and INSIST that Michael Budkie of SAEN and New Mexico news media be given a tour of LRRI and that post-mortem records for animals that died at LRRI during 2011 be made public.

Robert W. Rubin, CEO
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
2425 Ridgecrest Dr. SE
Albuquerque, NM 87108-5127
(505) 348-9365
rwrubin@lrri.org

http://www.abqjournal.com/

Institute Euthanized at Least 300, Group Says

By Oliver Uyttebrouck, AlbqJournal.com, Saturday, January 28, 2012

An animal-rights group contends that federal records showing a decline last year in the number of monkeys and dogs at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute supports its claims that the Albuquerque facility euthanized at least 300 animals last summer.

Lovelace officials called the claims misleading and said that U.S. Department of Agriculture records do not indicate whether animals are euthanized or transferred to other research facilities.

A USDA inspector also noted in two reports last year that Lovelace had complied with federal laws governing the humane treatment of animals.

USDA animal inventory reports show that the number of monkeys at Lovelace declined by 305, from 951 on March 23, to 646 on Sept. 14. The number of dogs declined by 110 in the same period, from 293 to 183.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an animal-rights group, claimed in July 2011 that Lovelace planned to euthanize 300 primates and an unspecified number of dogs. The Journal was unable to independently confirm the claim.

Robert Rubin, president and CEO of Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, called the claims an “exaggerated, misleading accusation.”

“LRRI, along with city shelters and all research universities, is sometimes required to humanely euthanize animals,” Rubin said in a written statement issued Thursday. “Animals also are transferred to other research facilities.”

Lovelace’s animal operations are accredited and regulated by a variety of organizations, including the USDA and the National Institutes of Health, Rubin said. Lovelace did not offer a specific explanation for the decline in its animal inventory.

Animal research institutions can euthanize animals or transfer them to other facilities, so long as they comply with federal animal humane laws, said Dave Sacks, a USDA spokesman. The disposition of the animals is not noted in USDA reports, he said.

“These animals are the property of these facilities,” Sacks said. If a facility euthanizes a large number of animals, “as long as they are conducting that euthanizing according to American Veterinary Medical Association standards, they are not violating the Animal Welfare Act.”

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