Animal welfare group asks USDA to investigate animal deaths at UL Lafayette research center
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Dr. Robert Gibbens
Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA-APHIS
[email protected] 
[email protected] 

Please levy the MAXIMUM FINE against University of Louisiana, Lafayette, for their blatant disregard of the Animal Welfare Act when their negligence caused five monkeys to die (or be euthanized) in 2021 from dehydration, and another three in 2020 from heat stroke. Their behavior should NOT be tolerated and MUST be punished to the fullest extent of the law.


Animal welfare group asks USDA to investigate animal deaths at UL Lafayette research center

From Katie Gagliano,, September 23, 2021

An animal abuse watchdog group has filed an official complaint against UL Lafayette related to the deaths of several animals at the university's New Iberia Research Center.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture calling for an investigation into the recent deaths of five macaque monkeys in August 2021 and three other deaths in 2020.

SAEN says in their letter that the these deaths put the university in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

In August, the university was issued a critical citation by the USDA for the deaths of five infant macaque monkeys. The cause of the deaths, according to a report by a USDA inspector dated August 26, 2021, was dehydration.

In the report it states that one infant rhesus macaque was euthanized on July 19 after showing signs of dehydration. Two others were found dead on July 20 and two more were euthanized that same say due to dehydration.

According to the inspection report, following an investigation it was determined that a water pressure regulator was not working properly and was reducing water pressure to the room where the animals were housed. Changes were reportedly made following the incident.

SAEN says that another report dated August 26, 2020, indicated that three monkeys were found dead on August 5, 2020, from what the report indicates was heat stroke.

KATC reported on that incident in January 2021. Read more here

The nonprofit is calling on the USDA to issue fines on the University of $10,000 per animal death.

KATC reached out the university for comment on the animal deaths. The full statement is below:

"The University of Louisiana at Lafayette and its staff members are diligent in the care provided to animals at the New Iberia Research Center. The center follows rules and guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies.

On July 20, 2021, a water pressure regulator malfunctioned at the New Iberia Research Center, resulting in an intermittent reduction in water pressure to an animal room housing non-human primates, circumventing the daily cage watering checks. Six infant rhesus macaques suffered dehydration and were immediately treated by the attending veterinarian. Two died and three were later euthanized when they did not respond to treatment; one fully recovered. NIRC promptly reported this incident to the USDA.

The NIRC has implemented additional daily manual checks and records of water pressure. The center is also enhancing its automatic continuous pressure monitoring with an alarm to alert staff to pressure values outside acceptable ranges that interfaces with the NIRC Building Automation System."

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