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Contact: Julie Simon-Dronet March 4, 2009
(337) 482-6397, juliedronet@louisiana.edu
 
Statement of the New Iberia Research Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in response to a campaign by the Humane Society regarding biomedical research
 
The American public continues to advocate and financially support medical research aimed at finding cures for diseases and illnesses that are detrimental to their quality of life. The New Iberia Research Center plays a vital role in research that advances the nation’s public health.

Endless debate has ensued as to the best approach to conduct this research but little debate has questioned the need. Biomedical research is a stringently regulated field and the New Iberia Research Center maintains professional standards that meet and surpass these regulations.

The videos posted online today by ABC Nightline and the Humane Society and obtained in an undercover manner at the New Iberia Research Center are part of a larger campaign by the Humane Society to ban the use of chimpanzees in research. Nothing in the videos alter the fact that the New Iberia Research Center is in compliance with all federal standards and guidelines regarding the care and use of animals, as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control.

The New Iberia Research Center has made and continues to make numerous contributions to public health improvements for the prevention and treatment of diseases such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, mumps, measles, chicken pox, prion diseases (mad cow disease). In addition, advances are being made in the development of antiviral compounds, therapeutic proteins, gene therapy, and in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

We take very seriously our responsibility to care for the animals housed at the center and to carry out biomedical research according to federal rules and regulations. We are driven by high standards and ethics and believe the videos distort acceptable standard procedures and incorrectly imply mistreatment of nonhuman primates at the New Iberia Research Center. We take seriously our mission to conduct research that plays a critical role in protecting the health of the nation.

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Document last revised Wednesday, March 4, 2009 6:16 PM

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