Sheep Drained of Blood in ‘Gruesome’ Experiment at Otago Uni

Sheep Drained of Blood in ‘Gruesome’ Experiment at Otago Uni


It's the 11th day of our 12 Days of Christmas University of Otago exposé and the experiment we're exposing is on sheep…

Sheep were starved overnight and then had 30% of their blood drained from their bodies.


  • Sixteen healthy female sheep were fasted overnight, before being treated with morphine and being anaesthetised.
  • Catheters were placed in some of their arteries and veins.
  • To measure blood flow, probes were placed around one of their neck arteries.
  • For 30min, sheep were kept like that, then the catheter in their leg vein was opened and about 30% of their blood was drained out.
  • After 5min of low blood volume, the sheep were treated with an injection of either just saline, adrenaline or blood pressure-stabilising medication, followed by a saline infusion after 30min.
  • After one hour, the drained blood was given back to the sheep and 25min later, the sheep were killed by an injection to stop their heart. 

Why was this done? Exsanguination (death by blood loss) is one of the major causes for trauma-related deaths prior to hospital care. So, the aim of this study was to try and test emergency treatment for severe haemorrhaging. 

The paper itself raises several limitations of this experiment, but instead of finding modern ways to solve this problem, suggests even more animal experiments.

The University of Otago needs to better acknowledge that there are very tenuous connections between research conducted on non-human animals and human health. We need to see a plan for how they’re going to start upgrading their science to better methods as technology improves!



Otago Uni are not going to make changes on their own which is why we are going over their heads and striking at the source! Sign our petition aimed at calling on the New Zealand Government to start prioritising non-animal-based research methods and replacing the use of animals in science! 

Once we get changes like this at a government level, Otago Uni will have no choice but to start making progress and stop lagging behind. 



  • Learn more about our 12 Days of Christmas campaign, which is exposing more cruelty at Otago. We will be uploading a new experiment that we are exposing to this page every day until the 12th December.
  • Find out why Otago University is at the centre of this campaign.
  • Access the the full paper we have exposed above on our references page.