Today is Day 5 of Our Biggest Exposé Yet
It's the 5th day of our 12 Days of Christmas University of Otago exposé!
Today we are exposing an experiment on guinea pigs, where they were forced to swim in a black pool of water and later sedated and killed by having their necks broken.
This is not how animals deserve to be treated, they should be able to live a life free from cruelty — a life where they are safe and able to spend their days cuddling with their friends...
- 18 Male, albino Dunkin–Hartley guinea pigs were sourced from the University's animal breeding facility and housed in cages of three.
- They were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: medication with simvastatin, medication with atorvastatin, and control treatment with just water.
- The guinea pigs were medicated via slow gavage (force-feeding), weighed daily and after 6 weeks of treatment were tested in the Morris water maze test.
- The maze consists of a black circular pool with a diameter of 165cm and a height of 70cm. Near the centre of the pool, a black platform was submerged.
- Testing consisted of multiple different trials. In each trial, the guinea pig was placed in the pool facing a wall and allowed to search for the platform for 45 seconds. If successful, they were allowed to stay for 15s, before the next trial started from a different part of the pool. If he did not find the platform in time, he was manually put on there for 15 seconds before starting the next trial. This was repeated over 5 consecutive days.
- On the 6th day, the platform was removed, and the guinea pig was left to search for 30s. After two weeks of no medication being administered, the Morris water maze test was repeated in the same way.
- Following the last test, animals were anaesthetised, blood was taken by cardiac puncture and then they were killed by cervical dislocation (having their necks broken).
This experiment was done to try and see what the cognitive side effects of a cardiovascular medication are in guinea pigs as a way of trying to investigate side effects that had been reported in humans.
Animal testing is notoriously inaccurate at replicating human physiology, with over 90% of drugs trusted in animals failing in human clinical trials.
That’s a huge failure rate and shows us that the current way we are trying to find cures for humans isn’t working. This is because animals don't make good models of human physiology, we simply aren’t 80kg guinea pigs.