Last night Nightline aired a segment about UL Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center. The report relied heavily on video obtained by the Humane Society of the United States in a nine-month undercover investigation of the facility.
According to Nightline, the NIRC has received $18 million in federal funds from the National Institutes of Health since 2000, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now investigating NIRC's animal welfare practices.
The Humane Society has also issued this 11-page summary, noting that its investigator only worked with 20 chimpanzees, only 6 percent of the the 300 animals housed there.
The HSUS has filed a 108-page complaint with the USDA that alleges 338 possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The HSUS also alleges there is "rampant breeding of chimpanzees at NIRC," despite a 1995 moratorium on breeding, and that 200 chimps have been born at NIRC since then.
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.
Today, federal lawmakers are scheduled to introduce the Great Ape Protection Act "to phase out invasive research and testing on approximately 1,000 chimpanzees remaining in U.S. laboratories. The bill would also retire about 500 federally owned chimpanzees currently in laboratories to permanent sanctuary." And in Baton Rouge today, HSUS officials urged Gov. Bobby Jindal to retire 26 elderly chimps from the NIRC to a permanent sanctuary.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.