Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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



Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute continues its deadly incompetence 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute continues to disregard federal rules resulting in animal suffering and multiple deaths, charged a research watchdog group today.

The US Department of Agriculture cited numerous violations at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, according to a July 19, 2016 inspection report.  

A primate exhibited numerous signs of distress including rapid respiration, lethargy, decrease in appetite ("the animal would no longer eat its biscuits"), and reluctance to move until stimulated, yet never received care.  The report states, "On 4/22/16 the animal was found expired on its enclosure floor.  At no time after the notation of clinical observations was the clinical veterinarian notified or consulted as required by the approved protocol." 


The report also states, "On March 11, 2016, six guinea pigs expired during transportation.  The animals were held in a rat microisolator enclosure for approximately 45-60 minutes before initiating transport to the exposure room.  Immediately upon leaving the animal room, study personnel noted the animals had expired. An IACUC investigation revealed three contributing factors in this incident:  the density of guinea pigs in the enclosure, duration they were held in the enclosure, microisolator filter top was wet (may contribute to decreased air exchange within the enclosure)."

In a letter to Dr. Robert Gibbens, Director of the Western Region of the USDA/APHIS (Animal and Plant Inspection Services), Jodie Wiederkehr, CFES' Executive Director, urged the USDA to launch a full investigation into these incidents and levy the largest fine allowable against Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute of at least $10,000 per non-compliance.  There were additional violations on this report including subjecting a pig to an unapproved procedure, which broke protocol.
"This primate suffered for at least four days without veterinary attention and succumbed rather than being humanely euthanized.  This deadly negligence needs to be investigated and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute needs to be held accountable for the tragic and unnecessary deaths of these animals," Wiederkehr stated.

All federal reports are available upon request.