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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
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Articles and Reports

The Primate Experimentation Scandal, 2005: An Investigative Report
By Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., Executive Director, SAEN

New Iberia Research Facility

The New Iberia Research Center houses approximately 6000 primates. For legal reasons we have been denied access to most records within this facility. However, we have come into possession of post-mortem records for 15 of the rhesus monkeys who were part of a 131 member colony at NIRC until their death. Necropsy findings of the 15 NIRC Primates included:

1/3 of these animals were so emaciated at their death that they had little or no body fat.

Over 1/3 of these animals had severe gastro-intestinal tract diseases.

Several had suffered from trauma.

One rhesus monkey was killed by sedation.

Another perished as a result of aspiration pneumonia.

Another primate died of heat stroke.

Many of these deaths smack of negligence on the part of NIRC staff. It is clear that pathological conditions in these primates are allowed to continue, causing substantial suffering to the primates, until they have reached an unacceptable endpoint. It is also very disturbing that the majority of the rhesus monkeys who were necropsied were 3 years of age or less. None of these animals are over 7 years of age. This is extremely disturbing since captive rhesus monkeys can live to be as much as 35 years old.

Additionally, the record keeping associated with these animals appears to be haphazard and in some cases the symptoms do not appear to match the cause of death, or no real cause of death is delineated.

While this is a small number of the total of 6000 primates housed at the New Iberia Research Center, these documents indicate sloppy and inadequate veterinary care as well as insufficient observation of these animals. Diagnoses appear to be done only post mortem, and in the documents relevant to these fifteen animals only once is any pre-mortem therapy mentioned.

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