Thursday, November 10, 2016

Contact:  Jodie Wiederkehr, Center For Ethical Science (CFES), 773-726-0589, 


Violated Federal Law, Charges Research Watchdog

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Due to extreme incompetence at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, a primate lost her life in April, charged a research watchdog group today.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the lab with a critical violation according to an October 12, 2016 inspection report.  According to the report, "The facility staff did not convey the health status of a nonhuman primate to the clinical veterinarian in a timely manner.  A nonhuman primate, ID #RA1950, experienced adverse complications which required consultation with the clinical veterinarian.  From 04/19/16 through 04/21/16, facility records indicate that the animal was not eating its biscuits and the animal would intermittently consume its food enrichment.  On 04/22/16, the animal was found dead in its enclosure.  Verbal conversations with the Study Director and attending veterinarian, confirmed these observations would be considered a loss of appetite.  According to the IACUC approved protocol and amendments, when an adverse complication of “loss of appetite” occurs, the study director and clinical veterinarian must be contacted.  Additionally, during the review and approval process for this protocol, the attending veterinarian stated “If the animals are not coping well with the initial insult, please contact the veterinary staff.”  Verbal conversations with the Study Director and attending veterinarian and the medical record for this animal confirm that the clinical veterinarian was not consulted regarding the loss of appetite (last notation was on 4/18/16)."

This is, by far, not the first time Lovelace's animal research program has been under investigation.  In the past, LRRI has been fined over $20,000 for multiple deadly violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

In a letter to Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director of the Western Region of the USDA/APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), Jodie Wiederkehr, CFES' Executive Director, urged the USDA to launch a full investigation into this recent incident and levy the largest fine allowable against Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute of at least $10,000 per non-compliance. 

"Lovelace is a criminal laboratory that routinely violates federal law which results in much suffering and death and they should be held accountable for another tragic death of another monkey," Wiederkehr stated.

All federal reports are available upon request.