In the face of calls by an animal rights group for the stiffest penalties allowed by law, the director of the New Iberia Research Center says he does not expect the facility or UL Lafayette to be fined.
“Everything was corrected immediately,” Dr. Joe Simmons, NIRC director, says in a press release following the call by Stop Animal Exploitation Now, an Ohio-based group that this week highlighted details in a U.S. Department of Agriculture report in early August finding three incidents at NIRC involving monkeys, one of which died as a result of injuries.
Simmons characterizes that fatal incident as a “freak accident” in which a female rhesus macaque’s hand got lodged between a meal conduit and another part of her enclosure, an accident that, according to Simmons, has occurred only one other time in 30 years. The other incidents included a monkey breaking her arm while in an enclosure and five others escaping from an enclosure, although the university says the animals remained confined to the room where the enclosure is housed.
SAEN Director Michael Budkie says UL clearly didn’t improve operations at the facility since agreeing to pay a $38,000 settlement to the USDA in March of this year in connection with the 2011 deaths of three monkeys and an injury to a chimpanzee. “It is obvious that the last fine levied by the USDA had no impact on ULL’s compliance with federal law,” Budkie says. “Clearly this facility must receive additional citations and the maximum fine allowable under the law.”
UL began retiring the more than 300 research chimpanzees at NIRC last year, sending the primates to a sanctuary in north Louisiana.
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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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