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Contact: Christine Payton March 6, 2009
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie said Thursday that the university and New Iberia Research Center will cooperate fully with the USDA’s investigation of animal welfare practices at the primate center. He made that pledge in letters sent to the USDA and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Vilsack announced earlier this week the USDA will conduct an investigation after ABC’s Nightline broadcast report that alleged mistreatment of some nonhuman primates at NIRC.

“The New Iberia Research Center is proud of its contributions to biomedical research that advance the nation’s public health. The center is fully accredited by the voluntary Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and has been found to be compliant with the Animal Welfare Act by both internal and external review panels. Most recently (February 2009), the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare reviewed and approved the renewal of the institution’s Animal Welfare Assurance, which is in compliance with the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,” he said.

“Nonetheless, the university is committed to properly addressing any found deficiencies at NIRC and we are committed to openness and transparency in the review process. We accept our responsibility to properly care for the animals housed at NIRC and to carry out biomedical research in strict compliance with federal rules and regulations,” he stated.


Document last revised Friday, March 6, 2009 11:08 AM

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