Animal Protection Group Calls on USDA to Investigate Animal Deaths at UL Lafayette Research Center

An animal abuse watch group has filed a formal complaint against UL Lafayette over the deaths of several animals at the university’s New Iberia Research Center.

Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN) has 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 more deaths in 2020.

SAEN says in its letter that the deaths put the university in violation of animal welfare law.

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

In the report, it is stated that a baby rhesus macaque was euthanized on July 19 after showing signs of dehydration. Two more were found dead on July 20 and two others were similarly euthanized due to dehydration.

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

SAEN says another report dated August 26, 2020 said three monkeys were found dead on August 5, 2020, according to what the report indicates as heatstroke.

The KATC reported this incident in January 2021. Read more here

The association is asking the USDA to impose a fine of $ 10,000 on the university per dead animal.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA issued a statement following the release of the USDA inspection report calling for those responsible for the deaths to be criminally charged.

“The university must suspend all animal testing, modernize its program to conduct research that helps humans without harming animals, and reject anyone who has been implicated in such cruelty,” said Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of PETA .

KATC has contacted the university to 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 of animals at the New Iberia Research Center. The center follows the rules and guidelines established by the US Department of Health and Human Services and others. agencies.

On July 20, 2021, a water pressure regulator malfunctioned at the New Iberia Research Center, resulting in an intermittent reduction in water pressure in a pet facility housing non-human primates, bypassing daily cage watering controls . Six infant rhesus macaques suffered from dehydration and were immediately treated by the attending veterinarian. Two died and three were subsequently euthanized because they did not respond to treatment; a completely recovered. The NIRC promptly reported this incident to the USDA.

The NIRC has implemented additional daily manual checks and water pressure records. The center is also enhancing its automatic continuous pressure monitoring with an alarm to alert staff of pressure values ​​outside of acceptable ranges that interfaces with the NIRC building automation system. “

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