I appreciate The Advocate’s recent coverage of two primate research centers in Louisiana. I was saddened and disgusted to learn about these centers, to see the photo of the cages at University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center and read about the research. I am ashamed to live in a state where such inhumane experiments are allowed.

UL-Lafayette, according to your article, has paid over $50,000 in penalties for negligence and incompetence. Now, this center faces even more fines for six new allegations of violations. That this center is still allowed to operate is difficult to understand, especially when Gov. Bobby Jindal keeps threatening cuts to higher education. Perhaps he should start by closing this center.

Regarding the excellent Feb. 19 article on the Tulane National Research Center, Faimon Roberts pointed out many important facts. This center houses around 5,000 monkeys. Two recently developed an infection with a rare bacterium, then an investigator showed symptoms of this infection. I hope that the good people of Louisiana will encourage an end to research that is cruel to these animals and is a threat to our health (another point in the article was that 50 monkeys escaped in 2005). I believe that God did not put these animals on Earth to have no natural quality of life and to be housed in small cages and experimented on. To me, this is a crime against nature and it shows a lack of value placed on life.

Thank you again to The Advocate journalists for shedding light on a inhumane activity that appears to be generally kept out of public scrutiny.

Mary Loofbourrow


Denham Springs