For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2021
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Lafayette, La. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding federal documents that reveal serious animal welfare violations at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center:
If University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) New Iberia Research Center animal experimenters can’t even tell and don’t even check that a watering device is broken when monkeys are dying, they need to find another way to make a living and should be criminally charged. According to a just-released federal inspection report obtained by PETA, five infant rhesus macaques died slowly of dehydration after not having access to water. The deaths—which would have been painful and which left five mothers grieving—occurred over two days. After the first monkey was found dead, UL Lafayette failed to investigate the problem adequately and additional monkeys suffered and died.
This isn’t the first time UL Lafayette has flouted federal animal welfare laws. In 2017, it paid a $100,000 fine following several violations, including one in which a monkey was injured and died of a brain hemorrhage and another in which laboratory workers broke the arm of a mother monkey who was attempting to protect her infant—and then failed to provide the injured animal with veterinary care for five days. In March 2013, the school paid a $38,571 fine after the facility failed to provide primates with adequate veterinary care and to contain them securely, resulting in the deaths of three rhesus macaques and injuries to a chimpanzee. In May 2010, it paid an $18,000 fine for six violations of federal law, including the documented failure of the facility’s internal oversight processes to protect animals. In February 2007, it paid a $2,062 fine after 55 rhesus macaques escaped from the facility.
The university needs to suspend all animal experimentation, modernize its program to conduct research that helps humans without harming animals, and dismiss all those who have been involved in such cruelty.