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Animal Experiments in Auckland

Wed, 14 July 2004

Animal Experiments in Auckland

According to figures obtained by NAVC under the Official Information Act, Auckland University used 41091 animals in experiments in 2003, the largest number of any University in the country. Most of the animals were mice (27422), rats, (7765), and fish (4239). 4592 of the mice were classified as 'transgenic'. Other species included guinea pigs, rabbits, sheep, pigs and various species of birds.

862 mice and 222 rats were subjected to 'severe suffering' during the research. According to MAF guidelines this can include recovery from major surgery without analgesics.

It has proven extremely difficult to obtain details of specific experiments. For example, when NAVC requested the titles of research projects involving rabbit experiments by Auckland University vivisector (and NAEAC member) Simon Malpas, it took nearly two years of investigation by the Ombudsmens Office before the University agreed to release the information, which was by then no longer current.

Most experiments at Auckland University were classified as "Medical Research" but the National Anti Vivisection Campaign says using animals in medical research is wasteful and unreliable.

Spokesperson Mark Eden says " Using animals as models for human disease is inherently unreliable because of the differences between humans and other species. For example, an artificially induced cancer tumour in a mouse is not an accurate model for cancer occurring in a sick human.

"If we want to advance the cause of human medicine we should stop wasting money on torturing animals in labs and focus on safe ethical clinical studies of human disease".

Other organisations in Auckland using animals in experiments using animals in experiments include Genesis Research & Development Corporation Ltd, which has refused to release any information about its experiments. Several agricultural research companies in the Auckland area use small numbers of farm animals in experiments.

The National Anti Vivisection Campaign is the only organisation in New Zealand focusing solely on actively campaigning for the abolition of vivisection. NAVC opposes all harmful research on animals, on ethical and scientific grounds.

ENDS

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