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Louisiana research center under scrutiny for handling of primates

Article

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center was cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Washington

-- The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center was cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

An inspection found several areas in which the facility failed to comply with the Animal Welfare Act, which requires commercial animal businesses and research institutions to be licensed or registered with the government and inspected.

Conducted in March by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the inspection was in response to a complaint filed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) about the way the facility treated its primates.

APHIS inspected all areas of care and treatment, citing the facility for issues involving its handling and environmental enhancement of primates.

The inspectors also found problems with New Iberia's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which reviews and approves research protocols. APHIS documented several areas in which IACUC was non-compliant, including incomplete descriptions of protocols and insufficient consideration of alternatives to procedures that may cause distress.

APHIS says officials will work with the facility to ensure that corrective actions are taken.

The complete inspection report on USDA's findings at New Iberia can be found on the APHIS Web site.

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