Thursday, June 23, 2011

Research Monkeys Die While Trapped At ULL Facility

UL Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center violated a federal regulation in connection with the deaths of three Rhesus monkeys, a May 31 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service alleges.

The Rhesus monkeys, all one- to two year-old yearlings, died after they were "accidentally blocked" in a chute connecting two outdoor cages, NIRC Director Thomas Rowell said on Wednesday.

Michael Budkie, executive director of the research watchdog group Stop Animal Exploitation Now!, provided The Daily Advertiser with the report and a letter he sent Wednesday to the USDA seeking citations against UL Lafayette.

The USDA report, based on a self-report that Rowell submitted, states that the three monkeys' bodies had begun to decompose inside the enclosed metal chute, "therefore they had been trapped for some time and not properly monitored."

That indicates the NIRC did not follow Animal Welfare Act regulations requiring daily observation, the report states.

The monkeys probably died from dehydration or starvation, which may have taken days, Budkie said. It also probably took several days for the bodies to decompose, which means the monkeys were probably trapped inside the chute for up to a week before anyone noticed they were missing, he said.

Full story here.

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