Laboratory hell & high water
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2005:
“As rising floodwaters swamped New Orleans, Louisiana’s chief
epidemiologist enlisted state police on a mission to break into a
high-security government lab and destroy any dangerous germs before
they could escape or fall into the wrong hands,” Paul Elias and
Alicia Chang of Associated Press reported.
“Armed with bolt cutters and bleach, Dr. Raoult Ratard’s
team entered the state’s so-called hot lab, and killed all the
living samples.” Elias and Chang revealed no details about the
species identity of the “living samples” at that lab, but noted that
“Louisiana State University lost 8,000 lab animals, including mice,
rats, dogs and monkeys. Many drowned. Others died without food and
water, and the rest were euthanized,” according to LSU Health
Sciences Center School of Medicine dean Larry Hollier.
Researcher Paul K. Whelton, M.D. confirmed the deaths in an
interview with Laurie Barclay of Medscape.
But some animals were apparently missed. Rescuers recovered “a
couple of chinchillas and 16 dogs” from the LSU medical center, said
Matthew Davis of the BBC.
Added Elias and Chang, “In Covington, just north of New
Orleans, Tulane’s high-security National Primate Research Center
reported only minor damage and said none of its 5,000 research
Other Tulane facilities were hard-hit.
Chip Price, vice president of the American Association for
Laboratory Animal Science, in a September 8 e-mail to AALAS members
mentioned that Tulane animal care staff and volunteers from other
institutions “removed 175 boxes of transgenic mice” from the Tulane
Main Campus animal laboratories, killing all others. The Tulane
Medical Center animals were “fed and watered” on September 7, Price
said, and were to be either removed or killed on the 8th. All
animals were believed to have been killed at the Veterans
Administration Medical Center, Price said.
Price listed eight other labs in the path of Katrina that
apparently lost no animals, and two more about which no information