FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2005
Contact: Michael Budkie – 513-575-5517; 513-703-9865
Attention: News Desk
NEW IBERIA – A national research watchdog
organization, SAEN, has announced that it has launched an investigation
into animal care at the New Iberia Research Center of the University of
Louisiana at Lafayette.
Initial findings based on documents obtained from the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveal negligence, lack of
veterinary care, and severely ill animals at the NIRC facility.
“Our preliminary findings indicate that something is
substantially wrong at the New Iberia Research Center,” said Michael A.
Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director of SAEN. “Government documents show
that rhesus monkeys at NIRC are suffering and dying due to negligence
and lack of adequate care.”
Necropsy reports obtained from the NIH document that
animals at NIRC are emaciated, dehydrated, and suffering from physical
trauma. Primates that routinely live until 30 or more are usually dying
at age 3 or less.
“We want the public to know the truth about what
happens to animals at NIRC,” added Budkie. “We have asked NIRC officials
for additional records to adequately examine the situation at NIRC. We
hope that this lab will abide by the laws of Louisiana and provide the
information we have requested.”