Investigation - Experiments on Dogs in NZ

Investigation - Experiments on Dogs in NZ

You may remember our gruesome finding late last year that researchers were using dogs from a pound in New Zealand for poisoning trials. Since then, NZAVS has started a thorough investigation to find out as much as possible about how dogs are used in experiments in NZ. 

We've uncovered many experiments involving dogs, all of which have been conducted right here in beautiful Aotearoa. 

You can view all of the experiments we found here, on our new Dogs Case Studies webpage!

One experiment was particularly hard to stomach. Researchers used new-born puppies in an intrusive brain experiment. 

16 Huntaway puppies were used in a cruel experiment from birth. Our welcome to these beautiful intelligent beings was to use them as test subjects. 

Anyone who has ever had the privilege of having a dog as part of their family knows how sensitive, intelligent, and loving dogs are. They want to play, they want to run, they want to please. They are a species who practice unconditional love in its truest form; we could actually learn a thing or two from dogs! 

The experiment

The experiment involved repeated injections straight into the brains of the puppies at intervals of weekly, fortnightly or monthly. 

Nine puppies received these intrusive, painful injections from birth. 

At the end of the experiment, 24 hours after their last injection, the puppies were all killed. They never made their first birthday on our planet; then again, perhaps life in a lab is not worth living! 

You can access the full experiment here

Not only is this experiment very cruel and unethical, but it is also flawed. 

The thing is, the researchers were trying to find a treatment for a complex human disease. The only viable way to find cures or treatments for human disease is to do human-relevant research. In this day and age, there are technologies available that could catapult us forward, advancing science at record speed. 

Because the article does not state how the puppies were obtained or how they were housed, we have sent an Offical Information Request to the University to find this information out. However, due to the multiple loopholes in the system, we may never find out.

The industry is shrouded in secrecy - we need to change this!

Take action

  • Donate to help change this and fuel our lifesaving campaigns for animals suffering in labs!
  • Sign our petition demanding that action be taken against animal experimentation in NZ.

More about our petition

Using animals for science does not start in a lab. It is driven by a complicated web of factors. Funding and policy decisions are a major driver of animal experimentation. A lack of transparency and openness means the public rarely knows what is going on. And our laws are often weak and selectively enforced. To tackle these problems, we are going to the very source of the use of animals in science! 

What our petition is demanding:

  1. Better allocation of funding
  • Funding for retraining scientists to use non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
  • Funding for infrastructure for non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
  • Prioritisation of funding for research using non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
  • Prioritisation of funding for research to create non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
  • Funding for universities to develop courses on non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
  • Deprioritisation of funding for animal-based research.
  1. Greater openness and transparency
  • Mandatory filming of experiments involving animals.
  • A registration programme for those providing animals for research.
  • Birth to end-of-research tracing and transparency, so it is clear for any given experiment where the animals came from and where they went after the research.
  • Greater transparency for existing documents, requiring their publication.
  • Publish all findings using animals to avoid unnecessary repetition.
  • Ensure private research conducted on animals is made public, to avoid unnecessary repetition.
  • Research conducted overseas for New Zealand companies should be subject to the same standards of openness and transparency.
  1. Stronger laws
  • Government bodies commit to phasing out the use of animals in science as technology permits.
  • Phase-out all requirements for animal testing in New Zealand law.
  • Legislation amended to require that non-animal-based RTT methods be used over animal-based methods (alive or dead), where they exist.
  • An independent body for animal welfare, such as a Crown entity or commission.
  • A Minister for Animals separate from the Minister for Agriculture.
  • A comprehensive review of the efficacy of the animal model and the potential viability of non-animal-based methods as replacements.
  • Involvement of the public and advocacy groups like NZAVS in decision-making.
  • A requirement for all Animal Ethics Committees to have an expert on non-animal-based methods.
  • A requirement for all Animal Ethics Committees to make applications public.
  • A requirement for all Animal Ethics Committees to check for non-animal-based methods that may be able to replace animals when considering an application.
  • The establishment and maintenance of a database of non-animal-based methods, to aid Animal Ethics Committees.
  • The restructure of Animal Ethics Committees to minimise conflicts of interest. Scientists involved should not have a financial interest in animal-based-research – whether via employment or ownership of a company.
  • Sufficient funding for enforcement to ensure these objectives are met.

Sign and share this important petition today!

Further reading