URGENT NEWS ADVISORY
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Contact: Michael Budkie, SAEN,
513-575-5517; 513-703-9865 (cell)
ATTN: News Desk
Lafayette/New Iberia, LA - A National Research Watchdog
Organization (SAEN) based in Ohio has accused the University of
Louisiana, New Iberia Research Center, of veterinary negligence and
inadequate animal care. SAEN has filed an official complaint with
the USDA demanding a federal investigation into the deaths of nine
primates, including three chimpanzees.
Internal NIRC records - obtained by SAEN, a national research
watchdog group that monitors labs like those at NIRC - reveal that
primates on the campus of NIRC are suffering from serious
"It is clear that the staff (of NIRC) systematically ignores
illnesses in primates allowing them to be diagnosed only at death. I
request you initiate action to levy the most substantial fine
allowable (and) suspend projects which involve repeat violations,"
said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN in a letter
(available upon request) to Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director of the
Western Region of the USDA/APHIS in Ft. Collins, Co.
"I find the attitude of callousness and negligence at (NIRC) to
be nothing less than shocking," added Budkie in his letter.
Budkie said he filed the complaint because "NIRC is ignoring
these primates and allowing them to die from undiagnosed or
inadequately treated conditions. They performed a vasectomy on a
chimp that was seriously ill, as well as discovering that a rhesus
monkey had a several inch long intestinal blockage with necrosis
only when the animal died."
Causes of primate deaths at NIRC death include maternal
trauma/neglect, septicemia, gastric bloat and toxemia.
“According to government records, NIRC receives over $6.1 million
per year for the maintenance of these primates, they should at least
receive adequate care,” added Budkie
All records are available upon request.