Mother's Day: Shedding Light on Animal Experimentation in NZ

Today, we are exposing an animal experiment on mother mice and their babies that took place recently in NZ.
May 12, 2024

Mother's Day is a time to honour the spirit of motherhood. However, amidst the celebrations, there's a sobering truth that often goes unnoticed…mother animals and their offspring are often used in grim experiments right here in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Our team has uncovered a grim example of this—an awful animal experiment on mother mice and their babies that took place recently in NZ.1

Today, in honour of the many forgotten mothers used in the same of science, we are exposing this experiment publicly!

The Experiment Exposed

The suffering begins here: Genetically altered mice ("Transgenic") are first made by injecting a solution that contains DNA from a chosen source into the nucleus of fertilised mouse eggs. Those fertilised eggs were then transferred to female foster mice and the DNA passed on to their offspring.  

Brain change: The mother mice in this experiment were specifically genetically altered to mess with (and in some cases completely shut down) the prolactin receptors in their brain. Prolactin is a hormone that is known to help breast development and milk production in human females.

These mother mice were then anaesthetised and injected with chemicals to trace their brain activity and then deliberately mated.  

After giving birth: The mother mice and their newborn pups were put through behavioural tests to examine maternal behaviour and their impact on pup survival.  

Even more disturbing - pups from two mothers were deliberately swapped to add another dynamic to testing their motherly behaviour!  

Pups taken away: The mothers' pups were removed, and age-matched foster pups were instead put in her cage. Her own pups were withheld from her and then given back to her, only after she collected up all foster pups.

Mother and pups were then moved to a new cage, and three of her pups were separated from her, placed way outside the nest for her to retrieve.  

A few weeks later, mice were anaesthetised, and their hearts were flushed with paraformaldehyde. They were killed, and their brains were dissected for analysis.  

Why? This study aimed to measure how the prolactin hormone might influence maternal behaviour in mice to try and draw conclusions for humans! To deepen the understanding of what impacts "motherly" care.

On this Mother's Day, let's stand together to oppose animal experimentation. Your support can help ensure that mothers of all species are treated with kindness and respect.

To make a stand today is to pave the way for a compassionate future where animals are protected from harm and animal experimentation is replaced with superior, animal-free methods – give a gift today! 

With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.