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UL Research Center Under Fire

Friday, March 6, 2009 - 2:01pm

"We found monkeys tearing huge bloody holes in their own flesh trying in vain to distract themselves from the ever present fear they endure," United States Humane Society President, Wayne Pacelle said Wednesday in a phone press conference.

A nine month undercover investigation by the United States Humane Society at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center reveals disturbing footage of the treatment of the nearly 6,000 monkeys and 300 Chimpanzees inside.

"These animals were in isolated cages, not given attention and subjected to procedures that were demonstrably inhumane," Pacelle said Wednesday.

The Humane Society says researchers used inhumane procedures like using powerful darts and tortuous cages to sedate the primates.

"For animals who are social and highly intelligent we see psychosis in these animals," Pacelle said.

The facility remains open. UL released a statement Wednesday saying the videos were quote:

"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."

The Humane Society is now filing a 108-page complaint to the USDA citing over three hundred possible violations of the animal welfare act.

The Humane Society is hoping the disturbing footage uncovered at NIRC will spur legislation to end invasive research on the chimpanzees remaining in laboratories and retire the approximately 500 federally-owned chimpanzees around the country.