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Expose of Primates Research Center - ABC-TV Nightline Tonight

Animals  (tags: animalexperiments, investigation, NIRC, lab, research, ULLafayette, expose, abuse, AnimalCruelty, animalcruelty, animalrights, animalwelfare )

- 3787 days ago -
9 month undercover investigation of NIRC brings the sad realities of a chimpanzee's life in a lab. Tune in to Nightline tonight. Post a comment on ABC News website with a prewiev. NIRC is the largest holding of captive primates in the world (app. 240)


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Joanna D (216)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:29 am
Please tune in to Nightline tonight (Wed. 03/04 11:30pm EST). This evening’s broadcast* features an expose of the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC). The 9 month undercover investigation of NIRC brings the sad realities of chimpanzees and other primates’ life in a lab to millions of viewers. We ask you to not miss this rare opportunity to see the truth. Please invite your friends and family to watch.

Go to the ABC News Web site to see a preview and to post a comment.

New Iberia, Louisiana (affiliated with University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Approximate Number of Chimpanzees: 240
History & Profile

New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) is the largest holding of captive primates in the world, and is owned and operated by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette). NIRC is composed of five major divisions: Division of Research Resources, Division of Veterinary Sciences, Division of Animal Resources, Division of Behavioral Sciences, and Division of Occupational Services.

NIRC “operates from a 100-acre site with 24 buildings totaling 485,000 square feet,” and the indoor space includes a 12,000-square-foot diagnostic laboratory. (1) “The Division of Animal Resources maintains husbandry and housing responsibilities for over 6,000 nonhuman primates representing eight species.” (2) The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) reports that NIRC breeds the following species of nonhuman primates: chimpanzee, vervet monkey, cynomolgus macaque, pigtailed macaque, and rhesus macaque. (3) On New Iberia’s Web site they note breeding capuchin monkeys as well. (4) For chimpanzees, NIRC still receives federal funding to maintain the capabilities for breeding them. According to recent government records, received by Stop Animal Exploitation Now (SAEN), NIRC receives over $6.1 million per year for the maintenance of their more than 6,000 primates. (5)
NIRC claims that it has given much attention to the development of “suitable” living quarters for nonhuman primates at the facility. (6) NIRC was formerly known as the Gulf South Research Institute (GSRI), which began the Life Science Division at the site. The division focused primarily on rodent animal models but some primates were housed there as well. (7)
“In 1984, GSRI discontinued its biological research activities and UL Lafayette (then the University of Southwestern Louisiana) redefined the nature of the facility and created the New Iberia Research Center, operating a Primate Research Center as a contract support facility.” (8)

In the 1980s, “the primary focus of [NIRC] was to provide private industry and the federal government with a reliable source of native born, quality bred nonhuman primates.” (9) In 1990, NIRC “expanded its mission by providing pre-clinical safety, pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic, and efficacy evaluations of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products.” (10)

Maternal separation/deprivation experiments were conducted on chimpanzees by G. Berkson and W.A. Mason at this facility. (11)
Chimpanzee Use

Nonhuman primates at NIRC are used for vaccine development and pharmaceutical testing. NIRC maintains and provides “a ready source of chimpanzees of mixed ages and sex for use in biomedical and behavioral sciences…” (12) The center “specializes in the breeding, management and importation of a diverse range of nonhuman primate species…” (13)
Research Profile*

Principal Research Programs:

* Breeding and supply of various species
* Physiological and pharmacological evaluation
* Chronic and degenerative disease studies
* Vaccine development efficacy and safety testing
* Comparative cognitive development

* These research programs may involve primates other than chimpanzees.

NIRC receives grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for chimpanzee research, housing and maintenance.

For grant 5U42RR015087 titled the “Establishment/Maintenance of Biomedical Research Colony,” over $10 million has been awarded to NIRC since the project began in September 2000. The grant is scheduled to continue through August 2011. NIRC has also received over $7 million for a contract entitled the “Leasing of Chimpanzees for the Conduct of Research.” The contract, N01-A0-22754, started in September 2002 and is scheduled to continue through September 2012. (14)
Thomas J. Rowell, DVM, Director
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
4401 West Admiral Doyle Drive, New Iberia, LA 70560

Joanna D (216)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:30 am
Please go to the site (click the news title) and post a comment.
There are 114 comments now.

Dusty K (1339)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:36 am
Thanks Joanna....this is one I will not miss. Maybe those who support animal testing will get some enlightenment!

Patricia McCaskill (139)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:43 am
Thanks for posting this. I had just received an email regarding the show. This is a step forward, the general public will be exposed to the horrors perpetuated in the name of 'research'.

Patricia McCaskill (139)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:43 am
and of course, will cross post. Please, everyone do so.

Joanna D (216)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:46 am
Please look at the numbers (I messed it up in the description):
6000 primates
240 chimpanzees

Tucked into a rural section of Louisiana, a few miles from Lafayette, an unexpected compound springs from the landscape. It is the nation's largest primate testing lab. The New Iberia Research Center, part of the University of Louisiana, houses more than 6,000 primates and one of the largest captive populations of chimpanzees in the world.
"Nightline" obtained the results of a nine-month undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States. A Humane Society investigator took a hidden camera inside the New Iberia Research Center for most of 2008. The video shows what the Society says is the way monkeys and great apes are treated behind closed doors.

Watch the story on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET

The New Iberia Research Center is a public facility, and its research includes contract work for pharmaceutical companies and hepatitis studies. The lab receives millions in public funding but limited public scrutiny.

"Facilities are very secretive in general," said the investigator, who asked to remain anonymous because of the investigation. "It's hard to get a lot of good information out of what really goes on. You rarely see images other than what is kind of posted on the Web sites. Going undercover in a place is the only way you'll see what's the truth."

The Humane Society investigator told ABC News that chimpanzees, often perched several feet off the ground, are shot with sedation guns, with little regard for their safety. The video shows chimps crashing to the floor.

"The sedated chimp would be sort of rocking slowly on the perch, then, out of nowhere, they just smack to the floor," the investigator said. "It was horrific to watch and to hear."

The Humane Society investigator who gained access as an employee shot video of a lab worker striking a restrained monkey's teeth three times with a pipe. The investigator says the employee wanted the monkey to open its mouth.

"The man is sort of threatening him [the monkey] with this pole and smacking his teeth at the same time," the investigator said, describing the video.

Another piece of video shows a lab employee hitting an infant monkey in the head and swearing when the monkey bites at her finger.

In response to "Nightline's" repeated requests for an interview, the University of Louisiana, which houses the New Iberia Research Center, issued a statement to ABC News, which said in part:

"The university takes very seriously the New Iberia Research Center's responsibility to care for the animals housed at the center. The highly qualified and experienced staff veterinarians responsible for the care of these animals are extremely dedicated and respond aggressively to reports of potential animal abuse," wrote Dr. Joseph Savoie, president of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. "We have a clearly stated and direct no tolerance policy when the welfare of any animal in our care is threatened, and we will continue to strictly enforce that policy."

The Federal Animal Welfare Act, the law designed to protect these primates, requires labs to ensure that procedures avoid or minimize distress or pain. The law also requires that animals be handled with proper care.

The investigator described to ABC News what she says is taking place in one of the scenes shot on video: "This is a baby who is completely alert, completely awake, completely aware of his surroundings, and he's getting a substance forced down his throat. He is screaming, and he was very terrified throughout this and you can hear the screams of the other babies and mothers in the background because the mothers were in there too."

Joanna D (216)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 11:53 am
Please help to stop this! In af ew next weeks we need a help to stop primates experiments in EU
Info and action centre: Stop Animal Experiments Care2 Group

laurel w (207)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 12:10 pm
"This is a baby who is completely alert, completely awake, completely aware of his surroundings, and he's getting a substance forced down his throat. He is screaming, and he was very terrified throughout this and you can hear the screams of the other babies and mothers..."

Annie J (205)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 12:25 pm
thanks Joanna.........

Laura H (950)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 12:28 pm
I am glad this is getting the attention it deserves...this evil, inhumane crap has been going on forever and it MUST stop...I will forward the info. I won't watch any footage though...I have nightmares from things I have seen for the past 25 years and I feel I can't handle any more right now...I can't.
Thanks Joanna.

. (0)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 12:39 pm
wish i could watch it.But i live in the Netherlands
But i hope a lot of people will watch

Asli G (124)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 1:08 pm
I have the same problem as Claudia but I watched the trailors and it is horrible as usual! When are we going to shut them all down and burn downs this places!

Sheila G (267)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 2:44 pm
175 comments now, I am amazed at what one person in particular has to say, but there is always some idiot out there who still believes man should be permitted to use and abuse animals any way they choose. ty Joanna, will do my best to keep the lids open, just to give that one more viewer to credits.

Trudi Reijnders (242)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 3:10 pm
Thank you Joanna!!!

Trudi Reijnders (242)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 3:21 pm

Raffi LidoRoiz (301)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 3:28 pm
All set for Nightline-Put this up on Facebook and Myspace. Thanks for this Joanna.

Wednesday March 4, 2009, 4:06 pm
I did not watch any of the video, I cannot watch it and sleep at night. I know from my sister working in the largest animal lab in the DC area what goes on in these places of torture and horror. I know most of the test results are inaccurate. I know that there is constant abuse. I have been against animal labs for over 20 years and they are still in business and still going strong. Animals are tortured and abused and suffer daily because of these inhumane, barbaric, chambers of horror. Maybe this show tonight will outrage enough poeple that animal labs will finaly be shut down for good. We can hope.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 7:16 pm
Hideous abuse.Have these people become so desensitised and apathetic that they don't care a primate can feel pain and fear and will go mad from it...?Blinded by dollar signs, they are.Horrible.

Joycey B (750)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 7:46 pm
I pray that after people view this show that they will do something about it. Until you see a video on this, you have no idea what these animals go through. Hopefully this will do it for these poor animals. I am so sickened by it. I don't see how they sleep at night. Thanks for all you do Joanna.

serge vrabec (278)
Wednesday March 4, 2009, 8:45 pm
I will watch it, thx Joanna. They have a lab here where they make thousands of monkeys smoke tobacco, sick ^%$#. I have protested there and am thinking about starting that up again. Animal Experiments make me ill and VERY, very pissed. Lets hope this show raises some more awareness, etc.

Elaine R (132)
Thursday March 5, 2009, 3:26 am

Joanna D (216)
Thursday March 5, 2009, 9:30 am
If you missed or you weren't able to watch it
The video is here:

Veronica D (0)
Thursday March 5, 2009, 12:15 pm
If the NIRC is treating all their primates so humanely as stated in their letters, than why aren't they open about their operation. They should welcome the national exposure freely offering tours and answering any questions asked. When you have nothing to hide you let the media in.

Obviously what goes on at NIRC is unethical and the employees know this and that is why they keep quiet. The one employee who repeatedly said "hey" was forced to quit. I am so glad she was willing to talk and the other person was willing to secretly film.

NIRC a prison camp for primates and a place of greed. I doubt much credible research is done there.

Sheila G (267)
Thursday March 5, 2009, 3:06 pm
I am more encouraged by the responses of so many people on that site, sure one or two idiots who think some animals should be abused, but they aren't really relevant, are they? I hope this sparks renewed interest in our own areas, we need so many more to join this protest. a newer petition I found in myspace:

ty dear Joanna for making so many more aware of this horror.

Irma Paulme (94)
Friday March 6, 2009, 1:07 am
Thanks for spreading this horror story. There are other undocumented cases or similar situations, for sure. They are pathetic.

Past Member (0)
Monday March 9, 2009, 8:55 pm

Know who is helping back them: HSUS.
Know how it is allowed to continue: The belief that "animals save lives".
Know why the video supports vivisection: Ignoring NIH and the Research Center's lies.

Wanda P (8)
Monday March 30, 2009, 7:51 pm
USDA needs to do their own undercover investigation. I hope this video will prompt people to get involved and help the animals that are in research.
All the researchers worry about is losing their grants. I can't see where any money was spent on enrichment for the Chimpanzees and Monkeys at New Iberia
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