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Primate lab slapped by USDA

Federal investigators have confirmed reports of primate mistreatment at the largest primate research facility in the US. As __The Scientist__ linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55490/ in early March, the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana drew criticism after a video of alleged animal abuse surfaced. The video was shot by an investigator with the Humane Society of the United States, who in 2007 and 2008 recorded images of chimps being sedated with dart guns and fall

By | May 12, 2009

Federal investigators have confirmed reports of primate mistreatment at the largest primate research facility in the US. As __The Scientist__ linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55490/ in early March, the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana drew criticism after a video of alleged animal abuse surfaced. The video was shot by an investigator with the Humane Society of the United States, who in 2007 and 2008 recorded images of chimps being sedated with dart guns and falling off their perches onto the floor, and monkeys with open wounds.
Investigators with the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) visited the New Iberia Research Center, which is administered by the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, on March 17th in response to a complaint filed by the Humane Society. The linkurl:report;http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/downloads/inspection/72-r-0007.pdf detailing their investigation was released yesterday (May 11). Investigators were not able to observe the facility's sedation practices during their visit, but they documented several other violations of the Animal Welfare Act. "Three adult primates individually housed with nursing infants were under sedation in their primary enclosures without adequate monitoring," the report read. "Each animal was not responsive to our presence or the vigorous attempts of the infant to arouse their mother. One of the sedated primates had their head pressed into the side of the enclosure possibly obstructing breathing. Monitoring in this manner was identified in separate areas of the facility grounds by two different inspection teams on the same day." The report also stated that adult chimpanzees were transported improperly, with unrestrained apes set on tables and lifted by their four limbs into waiting vehicles. The report noted "the possibility of injury caused by the primate falling off of an unsecure table, injury to the joints or musculature caused by rough manipulations during the carrying or dropping during lifting the animal in to the transport vehicle." Investigators also found that a number of African Green Monkeys at the facility were missing their tails. "Some of these tails were amputated as a result of trauma and others were amputated as a result of frostbite," the report read. "The heating of outside enclosures does not allow for the prevention of frostbite to all extremities of these primates." The investigators uncovered further deficiencies in how the center documented animal research protocols as mandated by the linkurl:Animal Welfare Act.;http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/awa.htm "USDA will be taking immediate action to ensure that these issues are corrected," the federal agency said in a linkurl:statement.;http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2009/05/newiberia.shtml "The UL Lafayette New Iberia Research Center is working with APHIS to ensure that corrective actions are taken," New Iberia Research Center director Thomas Rowell said in a statement faxed to __The Scientist__. The statement notes that the investigation turned up six "noncompliant issues," five of which the research center had "completely addressed" as of May 11th. The only outstanding issue appears to be the proper heating of the outdoor African Green Monkey enclosures noted in the APHIS report. The center has until October 30th to address that problem. USDA investigator revisited the facility on April 30th and concluded that the citations uncovered in the March 17th investigation "were reviewed and addressed appropriately by the University's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee," according to the facility's statement.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:EU OKs primate research;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55675/
[5th May 2009]*linkurl:UK unis to release primate data;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55608/
[9th April 2009]*linkurl:Monkey lab in hot water;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55490/
[5th March 2009]

Comments

Avatar of: Radwan Dabaja

Radwan Dabaja

Posts: 2

May 12, 2009

I saw the subject video in early March. although many viewer did not see abnormal abuse to the primate, I found it to be very disturbing. It seems that those individuals that were involved in the video were not concerned about the feeling and pain that those primates go through when they subjected to tests, let alone the imprisonment.\n
Avatar of: Animalia Libero

Animalia Libero

Posts: 1

May 12, 2009

The fact that these intelligent and sentient animals are in this place in the first place is abuse. Mothers and babies drugged up and crammed into cages is abuse whether or not they are adequately monitored. \n\nThis facility should be shut down immediately and any "scientists" doing research on these poor animals should be out of the job. I am sure they can use their intelligence to learn how to do research on humans that will actually help humans.

May 13, 2009

Recent disclosure of various unethical practices in research environments, which have probably long existed unreported, point to the necessity of both high school and college training on ethical principles as the basis for moral reasoning and practice and to build moral research and practice climates. Researchers as well as practitioners of all professions need moral reasoning to understand that they are ethically responsible for far more than for what they can be disciplined at their jobs or be held legally accountable. \n\nThe USDA reports that:\n?A percentage of African Green Monkeys were identified with portions of their tails amputated. Some of these tails were amputated as a result of trauma and others were amputated as a result of frostbite.? http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/downloads/inspection/72-r-0007.pdf\nHave some scientists lost their souls? How could people with graduate degrees tolerate or ignore the pain and suffering of vulnerable creatures entrusted to their care? \nEthical principles ? such as beneficence and nonmaleficence should be a part of a basic education, not just for high school and college training in science but for training in all fields. Ethical principles should inform the reasoning of every educated man or woman regarding the practice of their chosen professions. Regardless of its actual or potential contribution to the common good, research involving human and non-human subjects should be undertaken with great care and respect, ensuring that basic ethical principles are followed.\n
Avatar of: Daniel Rhoads

Daniel Rhoads

Posts: 3

May 13, 2009

While the Animal Rights wackos are probably cheering right now for their extremist agenda, this IS actually how the law is supposed to work - with proper investigations.\n\nSimply put, yes, scientists must follow regulations regarding animal welfare.\n\nSadly though, the wackos will probably use this as propaganda for continuing to play vigilante terrorist.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 2

May 13, 2009

It is appalling that Chimps would be treated so poorly. What is wrong with the people who work there? As a scientist I believe that animal research is a "necessary evil" but being so disrespectful to these intelligent beings is criminal I think more than a "slap" on the wrist is warranted.\n\n
Avatar of: Radwan Dabaja

Radwan Dabaja

Posts: 2

May 14, 2009

Here are some of the videos.\n\nhttp://abcnews.go.com/search?searchtext=Iberia%20Research%20Center%20&type=

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