Rats Brains Damaged & Pierced With Electrodes at Otago Uni

We reveal the second experiment in our 12 Days of Christmas University of Otago exposé.
December 2, 2021

Today is Day 2 of Our Biggest Exposé Yet!

It's the 2nd day of December, which means that it's time for us to reveal the second experiment in our 12 Days of Christmas University of Otago exposé. We were so encouraged by the support we received yesterday, and we know that you'll be as outraged as we are by today's big reveal.

This second experiment, like yesterday, also involves rats, but this time the animals had their brains damaged and pierced with electrodes and put through tests like associating a sound with electrical shocks through their paws... 

At NZAVS, we dream of a world without animal testing and where rats are free and happy, but we still have a long way to go before this dream becomes a reality.

Exposing cruel experiments like this, as widely as possible will help further damage the social license of animal experimentation and help us put an end to this archaic practice for good!

The experiment:

  • Rats were anesthetised and individually fixed into a metal frame so that their heads could be cut open and their skulls could be drilled into.
  • A toxin was injected to damage a specific part of their brains before electrodes were implanted.
  • Screws were put into the holes to connect the electrodes to a cable and the skull of the animals was covered in dental cement.
  • 9 of the rats did not wake up from this procedure.
  • Rats were then put through multiple tests to see how the toxin affected their behaviour including:
  1. The Open Field Test: Here, anxiety was measured by the rat being scared of exposed spaces.
  2. The Water Maze Test: Here, rats were placed in a pool of black water where they had to find a hidden platform to escape the water.
  3. A behavioural inhibition test: Here, animals were given access to food for one hour per day so that they would be hungry enough to learn to press a lever for food.
  4. A fear conditioning test: Here, animals were put in a special chamber where they were given electric shocks through the floor when a specific tone was played.          
  • In the end, all remaining rats were killed by opening their chests and draining the blood from their hearts.

This was all done to test how damaging a specific part of the brain affects cognition, fear response and memory in rats.

Since the University of Otago wouldn’t dare supply us with real footage, we’ve had to create a visual representation of what these animals would have gone through using footage taken overseas(Caution! The video is graphic and difficult to watch):

This awful research will not help humans in any way. Rats simply work differently from humans, and this research barely even references human health. It is a complete failure of ethical oversight by the University of Otago

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With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.