Mice

Find out about the many different ways that mice are used for science in NZ.

Rats and mice are often the animals of choice to try and model human conditions, treatment and body functions - even though we know that the use of animals to try and model people fails over 90% of the time.

Mice and rats are commonly used due to their small size, low maintenance (i.e., they are easy to house and care for), short life cycle, and ability to breed quickly (allowing large numbers to be generated for studies quickly).

They also share many of our genes.1 But that's not surprising, even cats share many of our genes.2

Mice are also relatively easy targets for genetic manipulation, which is heavily used in cancer research.So it is not surprising, that over 95% of transgenic animals used in 2020 were mice (14,936 transgenic mice of 15,645 transgenic animals).Their small size also makes importing mice from other countries manageable.

Mice are mainly used for basic biological research, medical research, animal husbandry and testing in NZ. They are also used for veterinary research and the production of biological agents.

Mice in NZ have been used for:
  • Drug research including safety and efficiency testing.
  • For teaching purposes in schools, including observational activities and dissections.
  • Disease research including research into the development of severe diseases (i.e., stroke, heart attack, cancer), modelling neurological disorders (i.e., Schizophrenia, Autism), modelling mood disorders (i.e., anxiety, and depression).
  • Drug addiction research including research into the development and suppression of addictions and the impacts of drug use.
  • Basic biological research into how parts of the brain work, damage affects the functions of the body, pregnancy changes body functions, wounds heal and how stress affects body and brain functions.

Places that use mice for science in NZ include crown research institutes, private companies and universities. Infact, most universities have their own breeding colonies. Otago University states on its website that they have a dedicated mouse testing room in the Behavioural Phenotyping Unit.

Mice used for science in NZ are often sourced from breeding units at the respective institutions. Transgenic mice are sometimes imported from other countries like Australia, USA or Japan.

Discover real-life examples of how mice have been used in NZ below!

Measuring thickness of blood vessel walls

Colony cats were anaesthetised, and the blood vessels under their tongue were measured with a special hand-held camera.

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Surveying caregivers on their cat feeding

New Zealand cat caregivers filled in an online survey about their household demographics and what/how they feed their cats.

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Testing new toxin in Hawke’s Bay (again)

Toxic bait traps were placed on a property in Hawke’s Bay. Cat population changes were monitored with stationary cameras.

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Assessing stress reaction to anaesthesia

Cats were put through several anaesthetic infusions with six-day breaks in between. Regular saliva samples were taken 24 hours before and after, and urine was collected through a wire mesh tray.

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Trialling ready-made toxic bait

Toxic bait stations are set up in a regular pattern in an area and left for two weeks. Trial cameras and tracking tunnels monitor the effect on the population.

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Studying medical data of cat and dog CT-imaging

Medical data from cats and dogs were gathered, and animals that had been euthanised for other reasons were examined.

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Testing if a human diabetes drug might also work in cats

Research cats were placed in individual cages four times (one week each time) and injected with either a diabetes drug or a control solution. Several blood and urine samples were taken.

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Testing a cat food supplement for tooth health

Colony cats were anaesthetised, and all plaque was removed from their teeth. Four weeks later, new plaque build-up was measured.

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Sampling cats for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Buccal swabs (inside the cheek) were collected from almost 200 cats at 15 veterinary clinics.

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Testing food preferences of cats

Cats were fasted for two hours in the mornings and then presented with different foods (lamb and beef parts) to measure their consumption.

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Monitoring wild cats for a year

Wild cats are trapped and fitted with GPS collars. After one year, they are recaptured and killed.

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Trialling a lighter rifle to kill trapped wild cats

Captured wild cats were shot in the head using an air rifle and were assessed to confirm death by recording the time to loss of heartbeat.

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Testing a predictive marker for cancer survival in cats

Veterinary samples of cats with this form of cancer were analysed and compared with their remaining survival since diagnosis.

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Monitoring outdoor cat behaviour

Privately owned cats with outdoor access were fitted with camera and GPS collars for up to three days.

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Testing a diagnostic for feline coronavirus

Cats with specific symptoms were used to take blood, tissue, and fluid samples. Some blood samples were taken from control cats.

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Testing a new papillomavirus vaccine

Adult colony cats were injected with a new vaccine or a control solution. Regular skin swabs and blood samples were taken.

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Testing a fertility treatment

Cows with fertility problems were treated with hormones for ten days or left untreated. All were then artificially inseminated.

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Testing a supplement for more calcium intake

Pregnant cows were fed with or without a specific feed additive. After birth, all were fed the same diet. Blood samples were taken in the weeks around birth.

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Checking endometritis rates in dairy herds

Some cows in several dairy herds were selected, and their vaginal discharge was measured and sampled. They were then impregnated as per standard agricultural practice.

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Comparing weight gain with different diets

Newborn calves were raised on various milk, pasture, and pellets combinations. They were slaughtered at two years old, and their “quality” was measured.

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Testing pain meds for disbudding

The horn buds of young calves who were slightly sedated were burned off with a hot iron. Half of them received pain meds beforehand, and blood samples were taken before and after. After 24 hours, the second group received pain meds, too.

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Studying Ikeda infection and treatment

Regular blood samples were taken from cows on three different farms. Only some were treated against the parasite. Milk production and fertility were recorded.

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Studying diarrhea infection

New mother cows had blood samples taken. If the sample was negative for a diarrhoea virus, they were sampled again after a while.

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Studying genes for body size

Udders of dairy cows were slightly cut with a scalpel, and a tissue sample was taken with a biopsy needle.

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Testing toxicity of a potential new fertiliser

Pigs were fed toxic bait and monitored until they died.

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Studying stress around birth

Blood samples were taken from cows with a high or low risk of health concerns after birth.

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Studying genetics of a missing tail

Cloned foetuses were implanted into female cattle to research taillessness. Some of them were killed during pregnancy to examine the foetuses. One tailless animal was killed at age 4, and one of the cloned calves died after birth.

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Studying Ikeda (parasite) infection

Blood samples were taken from dairy cows and their calves directly after birth before separating them. After four months, the calves were sampled again.

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Studying Osteoporosis in cows

Young female cattle who had given birth for the first time were sent to slaughter. Half of them had broken bones for between 2 and 10 days. Blood samples were taken before slaughter, and bones were collected after.

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Testing a tuberculosis vaccine

Male calves were infected with bacteria. Two groups were vaccinated before or after the infection, and the third group was left untreated. All were killed and dissected 13 weeks later.

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Testing feeding plans for better immunity after calving

Pregnant cows were fed either a bit too much or a bit too little. Blood samples were taken before, at, and after calving. Researchers also took liver samples with a 20-cm biopsy needle and vaginal samples with a small brush and a scoop at these dates, except for the date of birth.

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Studying the genes for hairyness

The hairiness of male and female cattle was rated. Some animals had their rectal temperature taken repeatedly, and some were shut in a hot room for two hours to make them sweat. Eight calves were killed to take brain samples.

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Analysing Greyhound race injury statistics

Historical data on Greyhound races between 2014 and 2019 were analysed. Injuries and deaths were investigated.

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Using bones of euthanised shelter dog

Cadavers of dogs killed at an animal shelter were donated. Holes were drilled into leg bones and fitted with screws.

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Investigating farm dogs for four years

Working farms dogs were examined regularly for four years. Health problems and fate were recorded.

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Transplanting faeces as diarrhoea treatment

A dog with diarrhoea was treated with laxatives and warm water before a faeces sample from a healthy dog was inserted into his colon. Samples were taken before and after.

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Testing the eyes of working dogs

Eye examinations were performed on working sheep dogs. Medication for pupil dilation was given, and faeces samples were taken from most dogs.

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Analysing dog movements

Colony dogs were prepared with reflective markers and an activity collar. Their movements on a treadmill at various speeds were recorded.

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Testing the effect of diet on farm dog performance

Working dogs were fed a diet very high or very low in carbohydrates. Their blood glucose and activity were monitored three times over four days each.

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Testing a parasite treatment

After a pilot study with just one dog, six more were given an experimental parasitic treatment. Regular blood samples were taken through a catheter.

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Teaching dogs to smell out catfish

Five pet dogs were trained over several months to identify catfish and goldfish smell in water samples.

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Testing different combinations of pain meds

Eight dogs are treated with four different combinations of the test drugs in random order with two-week breaks in between. Two catheters are placed in leg veins (for drug injection and blood samples). For the test, dogs are fasted for 12 hours and anaesthetised. EEG is recorded with electrodes near the brain to measure response to electric shocks. Regular blood samples are taken for 8 hours.

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Teaching dogs to smell out koi carps (2019)

Three pet dogs were trained over several months to identify koi carb smell in water samples.

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Testing working dogs for internal parasites

Faeces and blood samples were taken from working farm dogs.

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Testing fluid management of dogs during anaesthesia

Dogs were anaesthetised. Their heart activity was measured while hey were injected with calculated amounts of fluid.

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Trying to make rat poison unattractive for dogs

Dogs were fasted overnight and then given two food bowls with different kinds of repellent on one of them.

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Surveying respiratory disease in racing Greyhounds

Laboratories sent in serum samples of dogs for analysis. Additionally, 17 racing Greyhounds were tested.

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Testing dogs’ preception of time

Dogs were trained to press different levers based on their exposure to different types of light.

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Studying how viruses spread in fish

Fish were caught with nets and killed.

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Using fish to study the impacts of Climate Change

Fish were either bought or caught and killed so that they could be dissected.

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Overfeeding Zebrafish to learn about obesity

Normal and transgenic zebrafish were fed normally or way too much. The fish were taken out of the water for glucose tests and blood samples.

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Studying gut bacteria in fish

Nine fish were caught by underwater spearing and killed so that samples could be collected from their digestion tracts.

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Studying the sleep of sharks

Sharks were caught and kept in outside tanks. For the experiments, they weren't fed for at least 4 days, of which they spent 3 days in a measuring chamber not much bigger than the shark. Oxygen consumption and behaviour were continuously recorded for the last 24 hours.

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Infecting fish larvae as a potential model for humans

Zebrafish larvae were injected with bacteria to test how their immune system responds. This was repeated to test how well the immune system reacted and how long the effect lasts.

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Finding a “growth gene” in snappers

Snappers were caught from the wild and bred. Around eighty-thousand of their offspring were hatched and raised. At regular “grading” events, injured and deformed fish were disposed of. At just under a year old, around twenty-two-thousand were left and transported to a sea pen, where they were raised to 17.5 months old before harvesting.

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Testing how much fat you can feed fish

Fish in aquaculture were divided into groups and fed diets with different fat content. Fish were anaesthetised and faeces samples squeezed out of them.

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Testing fish for mercury contamination

Wild fish were caught, measured and frozen to be analysed.

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Measuring how stress affects fish

Fish were exposed to chronic stress for four weeks, while 57 non-stressed animals were kept as a control. Signs of stress were noted. At the end of the experiment, all were chilled to death.

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Exposing fish to herbicides

Zebrafish were kept in tanks that were contaminated with different herbicide concentrations for 10 days. They were then mated to herbicide-exposed or control fish. Both generations were tested on behavioural changes at around 4 months of age. 24 fish per treatment were killed and dissected.

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Testing supplements as protection from toxins in over 1,000 fish embryos

Embryos were harvested and kept in Petri dishes for toxicity and treatment tests. Embryos were treated with an antioxidant, a gold salt or both on the first day, and abnormal development was measured on day 5.

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Studying effects of drying rivers on mudfish

Water depth and quality were measured at 24 different sites. Several traps for fish and invertebrates were set at 8 visits, sampling and mostly killing the caught animals (including 15 individuals of the endangered Kōwaro).

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Studying bacterial spread in fish larvae

Bacteria were genetically modified and made fluorescent. Zebrafish were bred, and their larvae were infected with the bacteria. The fish were killed for analyses or used for live imaging under a microscope (and then killed, most likely).

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Investigating effects of invasive fish removal

Using fyke nets and electrofishing, fish were caught on four occasions. Fish were marked with fin clippings around one big removal event where 3 tonnes of fish were caught. In recaptures a week after each marking event, invasive fish caught were killed after the examination.

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Studying fish life cycles

Fish were sedated and their blood and ovarian tissue were sampled three times.

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Developing a model for thermal stress in humans

Guinea pig pups born normally or preterm were lightly anaesthetised, connected to devices measuring heart activity and breathing, and wrapped in a temperature-controlling blanket. Their body temperature was either forcefully raised or dropped to a certain point, monitored via a rectal thermometer.

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Testing how too much fructose is bad during pregnancy

Female guinea pigs were mated; some were fed additional sugary water until birth. The pups were used for several glucose tolerance tests and X-rays. They were killed to sample blood and tissue.

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Testing a seizure medicine for preterm babies

Pregnant guinea pigs were induced to give birth early, to test medication on their pups.

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Testing the effects of sedatives

Young guinea pigs were treated with different sedatives. Their heart rate and blood pressure were measured before and during each treatment.

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Testing an refined way of anaesthesia in guinea pigs

Guinea pigs were made to inhale anaesthetic gases. Different probes were inserted and attached to the animals to measure responses.

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Studying the effect of fructose during pregnancy

Guinea pigs were fed either normally or supplemented with fruit sugar before and during pregnancy until birth. Mothers and pups were tested for glucose tolerance.

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Studying the effects of meth

Guinea pigs were injected with sedatives, caffeine, and later meth. Under anaesthesia, their livers were cut out before they were killed.

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Studying preterm birth effects on the brain

Pregnant guinea pigs were grouped to give birth normally or were induced early. The pups were put through behavioural tests and then killed for dissection.

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Studying trauma and treatment of cochlear implants

In the applied study, guinea pigs get cochlear implants after destroying their hearing with noise. Treatments are tested before they are killed.

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Testing the measurement of pupil reflexes in Alzheimer’s research

Guinea pigs were repeatedly flashed in the eyes with a phone light to record the pupil responses.

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Teaching animal researchers

A range of animals is used to teach researchers handling and experimental methods.

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Investigating mechanisms slowing down the heart rate

Young guinea pigs were injected with blood thinner before being anaesthetised and dissected.

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Testing a device to assess hearing

Young guinea pigs were anaesthetised, electrodes placed under their skin, and their brain's response to sound was measured. Then some had their inner ear damaged to measure the difference.

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Studying changes in the inner ear due to inflammation

Guinea pigs were injected into the ear with bacteria. MRI scans were done after injecting chemicals, and most were killed for dissection.

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Studying the effects of medication on memory

Guinea pigs were exposed to carbon dioxide and decapitated. Another group was force-fed different drugs and later tested in a water maze before some were killed.

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Studying how anaesthetics affect intestine movement

Guinea pigs and rats were anaesthetised, then dissected, and then killed, in that order.

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Researching scoliosis genes

Transgenic mice who carried the desired gene defect were mated. Pregnant mice were killed 12, 15, and 18 days into pregnancy. The unborn babies were taken, skinned, and gutted, with their skeletons stained for better pictures.

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Studying hormone influences on obesity and fertility

Transgenic mice were bred to have diabetes symptoms. Together with control mice, they were fed a normal or a high caloric diet and compared for their fertility over 150 days.

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Testing a new stroke treatment

Mice were squeezed into plastic cones, and different test drugs were dripped on their nose. They were then anaesthetised, fixated, and a stroke was caused by injecting a chemical into their brain. Before and after, mice had to walk over mesh wire and were trapped in a glass cylinder for tests. All were then killed to take their brains.

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Testing another new stroke treatment

Mice were operated on several times. They were made to experience an artificial stroke, were later injected with a possible treatment, and then were injected with a marker. The mice had their memory tested before they were killed by having their hearts flushed with paraformaldehyde.

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Testing prostate cancer drugs

Mice were anaesthetised, and their prostate was injected with cancer cells or a control solution. A 42-day treatment course started three weeks later with different treatment drugs and control solutions. In the end, all mice were killed.

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Testing a heart attack treatment

Mice were trained to eat jelly and were then operated on so that they would experience an artificial heart attack. They received either a new treatment drug or a control substance for 2 weeks. Heart ultrasounds were performed before and after surgery and at the end of treatment. Then they were killed and dissected.

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Studying ovary problems caused by testosterone

Transgenic mice were implanted with a capsule containing either hormones or not. Vaginal smears were done for several weeks, and serial blood tests (where blood was collected every 6min for 2 hours) were performed twice. In the end, all mice were killed.

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Testing an Autism treatment on transgenic mice

Mice were genetically modified to show autism-like symptoms. Together with control animals, they were either fed normally or with a high-zinc diet. Behavioural tests were performed, including playing loud noises and giving them electrical shocks. At least some, likely all, were killed.

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Comparing transgenic mice and humans

Mice were anaesthetised, and their body composition was measured several times. Their grip strength and balance were tested with lab equipment. In the end, all were killed.

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Testing a new stroke drug for better dexterity

Transgenic mice were anaesthetised, and a blood vessel in their brain was blocked to simulate a stroke. They then received either a test drug or a control solution. After recovery, their food was limited to test their fine motor skills in a special lab instrument every other week. After two months, they were killed.

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Testing migraine drugs

Mice were injected with potential migraine drugs and anaesthetised. Imaging of their ears was taken with a Doppler ultrasound. One ear was rubbed with capsaicin to record the increased blood flow and compare different drugs, doses, and time points.

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Killing rats and mice for tissue

Rats and mice were anaesthetised, and their necks were broken. Their tissue was then used for research.

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Studying Alzheimer’s and stroke symptoms

One group of transgenic mice were bred and killed at either 4 or 12 months of age by flushing their heart with saline and paraformaldehyde. Another group was anaesthetised and caused to have a stroke. They were killed the same way.

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Testing Alzheimer’s treatment on mice

Transgenic and “normal” mice were injected with a special protein and a chemical to mark new brain cells that may have been produced.

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Testing a new Alzheimer’s drug

Newborn mice were killed to collect brain tissue. Adult mice were used to test drug reactions. They were anaesthetised twice; to inject the drugs into the brain and 30 days later to flush their hearts and take their brains.

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Testing if anaesthesia affect the sleep–wake cycle when combined with light treatment

Mice were kept on a 12-hour light/dark cycle and switched to total darkness for 4 weeks. During this time, they were exposed to light once, either with or without anaesthesia. The effect on their activity cycles was monitored and compared to mice kept normally. In the end, all were killed.

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Harvesting colon tissue for laboratory tests

Pigs were killed and their colon tissue was used for laboratory testing.

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Testing if pigs can be fed by-products from biofuel and food processing

Pigs were fed a standard diet or a diet containing by-products from other industries. They were slaughtered to compare meat growth and quality.

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Studying starch digestion in pigs to try and model humans

Pigs were fed different diets containing durum wheat or rice. Some had regular blood samples taken through a catheter. All the animals were killed at the end.

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Validating a treatment for stomach muscle dysfunctions

Pigs were anaesthetised, their bellies were opened, and electrodes were placed on their stomach walls before and after damaging some stomach tissue with heat. All pigs were killed.

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Assessing pigs as digestion models for humans

Titanium tubes were implanted into pigs’ intestines. Digested food was collected through the tube for 9 hours.

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Testing the effect of different species’ milk on brain gene expression

Piglets were fed different kinds of milk from other species for 15 days. They were killed to dissect their brains.

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Testing transmitter implantation on wild pigs

Wild pigs were captured, and three different tracking devices were fixed to or implanted into each one. After 104 days, they were tracked down and killed.

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Investigating oxygen content in the gut

Pigs were fed diets with different or no protein sources as a control. After a week, all were killed.

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Testing a UV treatment for bacterial eye infection

Pigs’ eyes were acquired for testing a new treatment, followed by tests on live mice, many of whom were killed.

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Testing the effect of different species’ milk on protein digestion

Piglets were fed different kinds of milk from other species for 15 days. They were killed to dissect their stomachs.

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Testing the strain on a temporary surgical implant

A surgical implant was screwed to a severed pig head, and measurements were taken via laser scanning.

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Investigating intestine movements

Young pigs and NZ White rabbits were anaesthetised. A part of their intestine was pulled out far enough to record its movements and signalling.

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Harvesting eyes for lab tests

The eyes of slaughtered pigs and rabbits killed for experiments were used to analyse the structure of the cornea.

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Testing UV eye treatment for safety

Pig eyes were obtained from the butcher, and mice were used to test a UV light eye treatment.

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Using organs to practice surgery

Pig hearts, kidneys and ureters were used in a surgery workshop.

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Testing a treatment for stomach muscle dysfunctions

Pigs were anaesthetised, their bellies were opened, and electrodes were placed on their stomach walls before and after damaging some stomach tissue with heat. All pigs were killed.

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Studying food intake in an autism "model"

Pregnant rats were injected with a substance that caused autism-like symptoms in their babies. The male babies were put through tests with control animals to measure social interaction and anxiety. In feeding studies, they were deprived of food and water overnight. Some were fasted for 16 hours and killed by flushing their hearts.

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Testing the safety of a probiotic supplement

Rats were force-fed with a probiotic solution or control solution. After two weeks, they were killed for dissection.

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Studying the effects of obesity and mussel powder on bone health

Female rats were kept alone and fed different diets containing normal or high amounts of fat or sugar. Some were supplemented with Greenshell mussel powder. X-rays were done several times, and some rats' ovaries were surgically removed. Ultimately, all were killed by bleeding them out to be dissected.

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Killing rats and mice for their tissue

Rats and mice were anaesthetised, and their necks were broken. Their tissue was then used for research.

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Testing if a brain region controls memory

Some rats had their brains surgically heat-damaged. In another surgery, electrodes were implanted to monitor brain activity and to stimulate the damaged parts with light. Rats then had to re-perform memory tests to see the damage and light impact before all were killed.

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Studying the communication between inner ear and brain

Rats were anaesthetised, and their inner ear was partly removed, then parts of their brains were stimulated over and over with wire electrodes. Reactions of the rat's eyes were recorded, and the brain's electrical response was measured with electrodes cemented into the brain. In the end, all were killed.

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Testing a connection between tinnitus and brain function

Tinnitus was caused to rats by blasting one of their ears with 115Db for an hour; other rats served as control. Rats were taught that silence meant they would get electric shocks and freeze in fear. This was used to test for tinnitus.

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Testing diabetic rats’ hearts

Diabetic rats had significantly higher body weight, body fat, and blood glucose levels than their littermates. Rats were anaesthetised and had ultrasound images made from their hearts. All were given an anaesthetic overdose, and their heart was removed once no foot withdrawal reflex was seen.

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Testing the effect of diabetes on pregnancy hormones

Some rats were killed for dissection. Others were anaesthetised and put in a stereotaxic frame. Their skulls were drilled open to inject colchicine (a gout medication used here to improve brain imaging). They were anaesthetised again and killed 18 and 22 hours after surgery.

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Trying to study schizophrenia

Half of a group of pregnant rats were injected to affect their babies' brain development. Some pups were allowed to grow up and put in plastic containers. Their calls to each other were recorded 10 times for 10min each.

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Releasing a rat family into the wild to see where they go

A wild-caught rat was mated, fed a fluorescent marker, and released into a 1080-pretreated area with her pups. Traps, tunnels, and cameras were set up to track and eventually recapture the animals, which did not work 100%.

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Comparing digestion of sheep versus cow milk yoghurt

Rats were fed cow milk, sheep milk, cow yoghurt or sheep yoghurt for two weeks. They were gassed with CO2 before their necks were broken.

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Comparing bone mineralisation of sheep versus cow milk

Rats were fed a test diet containing beef protein and received cow or sheep milk instead of drinking water. After 28 days, all were killed.

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Trying to make rat poison unattractive for dogs

Rats were kept in small cages and fasted overnight. During the day, they had the choice between two food trays, one of which was sometimes scented with lion, tiger, or dog faeces to measure the repellent effect.

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Comparing digestion of sheep versus cow milk

Rats were fed a test diet containing beef protein and received cow or sheep milk instead of drinking water. After 28 days, all were killed.

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Testing medication after heart attack

Rats were anaesthetised, and their hearts were exposed. A heart attack was simulated by blocking an artery. Some had fluorescent injected into their brains, and some were injected with test drugs. All animals were killed.

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Investigating intestine movements

NZ White rabbits (and young pigs) were anaesthetised. A part of their intestine was pulled out of their body, far enough to record its movements and signalling.

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Harvesting rabbit eyes for lab tests

The eyes of slaughtered rabbits and pigs killed for experiments were used to analyse the structure of the cornea.

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Causing sinusitis in rabbits as a model

NZ White rabbits were anaesthetised, and a sinus tract in their nose was blocked for four weeks to cause sinusitis. After another ten weeks with regular samples, they were killed.

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Testing a new vaccine

NZ White rabbits were injected with a new vaccine type several times before being killed.

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Testing the toxicity of some substances

Young NZ White rabbits were force-fed different doses of toxic substances. Blood samples were taken before and immediately after killing them at set time points (or to end their suffering).

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Using a new imaging technology

One NZ White rabbit and rats were killed, and their eyes were removed to use for the study.

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Measuring contractions in exposed rabbit uteruses

Pregnant rabbits were anaesthetised, and their uterus was exposed. Measurements were taken while contraction-inducing injections were given. Then they were all killed for dissection.

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Mapping wave patterns of the small intestine

NZ White rabbits were anaesthetised, their intestines were used for electrode mapping, and then they were killed.

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Studying presence of a virus in rabbits

Wild rabbits were shot, caught by dogs or trapped to test them for virus strains. The infectious solution was then fed to NZ White rabbits in a lab to kill them later.

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Harvesting rabbit colons for lab tests

NZ White rabbits were anaesthetised, a part of their intestine was cut out, and then they were killed.

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Harvesting rabbit bladders for lab tests

NZ White rabbits were anaesthetised, their bladder was cut out, and then they were killed.

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Testing an antimicrobial eye medication

NZ White rabbits were treated with Manuka honey solution in one eye and a control solution in the other eye for five days. Different values like tearing and irritation were measured.

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Using muscles of dead rabbits for imaging

Two NZ White rabbits were killed to use for detailed muscle imaging.

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Measuring jaw bone growth in young rabbits

Young rabbits were anaesthetised and had holes drilled into their jawbones to implant small pieces of metal. X-ray scans were made, and the rabbits were killed.

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Testing the welfare impact of pindone toxin

Three groups of young NZ White Rabbits received pindone-toxin pellets on different schedules. Any rabbit still alive after three weeks was killed.

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Testing efficiency of strip-sowing 1080 bait

The toxin ‘1080’ was distributed as complete coverage and in a strip pattern. Effects on the wild rabbit numbers were evaluated.

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