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Press Releases

Watchdog Group files federal complaint against ULL/NIRC Lab Alleging Veterinary Negligence in Deaths of 9 primates, including 3 Chimps

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 undiagnosed illnesses.

"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.


See: University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA for more information
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