Rats Force Fed Alcohol at Otago Uni

At NZAVS, we’re celebrating Christmas in a unique, but important, way this year - by releasing our BIGGEST EXPOSÉ EVER!
November 30, 2021

Today is officially Day 1 of Our Biggest Exposé Yet!

At NZAVS, we’re celebrating Christmas in a unique, but important, way this year - by releasing our BIGGEST EXPOSÉ EVER!

We’ve recently discovered a lot of horrific animal experiments happening at the University of Otago and, despite our objections, they’ve put their proverbial ‘foot on the pedal’ by opening a brand new $50 million NZD animal research facility to ramp up their barbaric testing.

At NZAVS, we dream of a world without animal testing, but sadly, this is simply not the case. In fact, every year thousands of animals in New Zealand are subjected to cruel and unthinkable experiments.

Today, we’re exposing one of the animal experiments being undertaken at the University of Otago, to try and ‘test the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain’.

The experiment:

  • Newborn rats were marked by punching holes into their ears and marking their paws.
  • They were separated from their mothers at just 25 days old and subjected to three different treatments.
  • Several rats were purposely killed by draining their hearts of blood, their heads were cut off so that their brains could be dissected.
  • Test group one was left alone for the experiment.
  • Test group two was repeatedly force-fed with alcohol. Here, a steel tube was forced down their throats and alcohol was directly injected into their stomach - 9g/kg of alcohol was given within 45 min. This would be like forcing an 80kg human to drink more than 2 litres of vodka.
  • Five rats fell into a coma from this and were killed and it doesn’t stop there. This procedure done incorrectly resulted in the death of 8 rats, most likely due to a rupture or fluid getting into their lungs… a truly horrible way to die.
  • The second steel gavage needle pictured below is what was used to force-feed these animals. This image was taken directly from the publication containing the experiments we are exposing:
  • Test group three was repeatedly force-fed with a saline solution.
  • The rats were later subjected to several behavioural tests, including the notorious Water Maze Test where they were forced to swim in a cloudy pool in search of a hidden platform

Imagine being forced to swim in a cloudy pool of water with a hidden platform that you have to find to climb on to escape swimming…again and again for several days. All to see if you could remember where the platform is...

Then one day, there would be no platform, no way to escape the water. Instead, you’d frantically swim around and around the pool, looking for a way out. Would you give up looking for the platform? That’s what the researchers want to know.

All this was done to try and measure the effects of alcohol on the cognitive development of the young rats, as proof against teen binge drinking. As if we needed more proof.

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):

We all know that alcohol has a negative impact on human development, so what was the point of this test?

It’s pretty clear from the reports that the main purpose of this study was to provide content for a master's student’s thesis. The actual results of the experiment didn’t find anything of value and there were so many errors during the animal testing that the entire study was inconclusive and completely unnecessary.

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With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.