SAEN Exposes Chimpanzee and Monkey Suffering
-- New Iberia Research Center
In January of 2009, SAEN exposed the terrible suffering of primates
including chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys inside the New Iberia Research
Center of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette (ULL/NIRC). This story
was picked up by dozens of news outlets across several states reaching
hundreds of thousands of people. SAEN’s Executive Director, Michael A.
Budkie has also filed an Official Complaint with the USDA demanding an
The New Iberia Research Center of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette
is an extremely secretive place. Very little is known about the inner
workings of this facility, except that it is huge. During 2006, ULL/NIRC
reported the use of 6489 primates, most of whom were part of breeding
programs, not actual experimentation. Due to the secrecy which
surrounds this lab, what little information we have been able to obtain
Chimpanzee A155E was born on January 1, 1983. By November 9, 2007, he
is dead. In between those dates his life appears to be extremely
monotonous. The only notations in his records are for dosages of
Fibercon, a dietary fiber pill being given to handle gastric issues. At
his death, A155E is described as being “thin and there is apparent
muscle atrophy” and “the abdomen is distended.”
The necropsy also states several things which indicate serious,
untreated, pathological conditions. The necropsy report describes
approximately 2 liters of fluid in the abdomen, as well as a heart
abnormality. The report also mentions: “a large abscessed area (20 cm
diam) adherent to the body wall.” This mass is described as
containing “a greenish purulent material” and a “necrotic
However, from May 23, 2005 until the time of his death in November of
2007, the only treatment prescribed was fiber tablets. His condition was
likely unnoticed and untreated, because he was only one of over 6000
Chimpanzee A096 was born in January of 1963. Other than the date of
birth, the available NIRC records provide nothing between 1963 and 1990.
From 1990 to 2006 little is known about this chimp other than weights
and CBC values. He had been part of a study that ended in 1992. He was
vasectomized on August 24, 2006, and died just a few days later. Two
days later he is listed as having swollen testicles, and he is D.O.A. on
the 28th. The only treatment that this animal received during this
period was Motrin, and the cause of death is left open.
However, it is apparent that he had serious heart issues due to the
500 ml of yellowish fluid in the pericardial sac, a situation which can
be connected to cardiac tamponade. A vasectomy is an elective surgery
and should not have been performed in a chimpanzee with a serious heart
Chimpanzee A272 was born in January of 1968, spending 38 years in
laboratory settings until dying of gastric bloat in November of 2006.
Bloat is a condition that can be related to improper diet and is
extremely painful. Additionally, his records do not list any treatment
for this condition; it was discovered only at death.
Rhesus monkey A4P001 was born in captivity in April of 2004, surviving
only until November of 2006, just over two years. He is diagnosed at
death with toxemia (blood poisoning) and 6-7 cm of gastric blockage. The
veterinary records state that “Approximately 3cm of involved gut was
necrosing” (dying). In other words, over 2 ½ inches of the small
intestine was blocked and over an inch of this tissue had died. This
monkey had not seen a veterinarian for 5 months.
Rhesus monkey A4PO15 was born in captivity in July of 2004 and died in
August of 2006. She was admitted on the day before death and is
described as “thin, dehydrated, poor sparse hair coat” and
“blood found oozing from the rectum.” This monkey received a
physical exam on June 19, 2006 and received no treatment of any kind in
the intervening period.
Rhesus monkey A4P010 came into the world on June 22, 2004. During his
short life he suffered through several bouts of enteritis (inflammation
of the small intestine) with serious diarrhea. He was diagnosed with
this condition again in the days before his death. He was allowed to
deteriorate to the point of developing septicemia, a life-threatening
Two infant primates, A7P001 and A7P003 are listed as dying due to
maternal neglect and/or maternal trauma. In other words, these infants
died of injuries from attacks by their mothers. A7P001 is described as
having “multiple wounds and bruising to: arms, legs, tail, face and a
large (nickel sized) hole in skin covering head with skull exposed.”
The mental state necessary to cause a mother to abuse her offspring so
violently is incomprehensible.
Over 69,000 nonhuman primates suffered in experimentation in the U.S.
during 2007, and an almost equivalent number languished in seemingly
endless captivity for the purpose of producing more victims for
experimentation. We will never know anything about most of these
innocents whose only ‘crime’ was to not be born in their natural
habitat. They live in stainless steel box-like cages or fenced corrals
that resemble the exercise yards of human prisons. They have been
reduced to mass produced commodities whose sole purpose is monetary –
rhesus monkeys often sell for over $5000 each. They are the raw
materials used to attract research grants or contracts in six or seven
figures – the University of Louisiana receives over $6 million per year
in federal money for the maintenance of these 6000 victims.
As a whole these relatives of ours are hidden from view. Their lives are
unknown, their deaths un-mourned. They pass through the world as shadows
robbed of everything but the capacity to feel pain. Most of us choose
not to see the painful reality that constitutes their lives. The
pictures are too uncomfortable, and as long as we ignore them, we can
pretend that they really don’t exist. Their suffering will continue as
long as their lives remain hidden. Please help us bring this harsh
reality out into the open.