R. Reese Fuller

UL responds to primate abuse allegations

by R. Reese Fuller

In a statement issued today, UL Lafayette responded to the allegations raised by Stop Animal Exploitation Now that negligence and inadequate care have led to the death of nine primates at the New Iberia Research Center.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is proud of its record and commitment to excellence in the care of the non-human primate population being housed at the New Iberia Research Center.

The animal care and use program was reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sept. 19, 2008. This review found all programs to be in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act. The university also has an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee that reviews the program twice a year. At last review in October 2008, no major findings were reported. 
In addition, the university is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). This private, nonprofit organization promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs every three years.

AAALAC last evaluated this program in 2006 and continued its full accreditation. In its final report to the director of NIRC, AAALAC stated, “The Council commends you and the staff for providing and maintaining a quality program of laboratory animal care and use. Especially noteworthy were the strong administrative commitment to the animal care and use program; the comprehensive occupational health and safety program; the knowledgeable and well trained staff; the high level of sanitation throughout the animal facilities; the comprehensive animal enrichment program; the thorough system for documentation and record keeping; the training program for all personnel; and the program to maintain healthy, well-cared for animals.”

The University takes seriously any and all allegations of animal neglect. It is committed to the humane care of research animals used in all activities and stands behind the animal care and use program at the UL Lafayette New Iberia Research Center.