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Shocking Animal Experiments Connected To NZ

Cells from baby pigs implanted in monkeys, kittens, and rats

Cells harvested from Auckland Island pigs have been implanted in the brains of monkeys and rats and in the inner ear of kittens according to publications discovered by the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS).

The experiments included other procedures as well. The monkeys were subjected to brain damage. The kittens were intentionally deafened via repeated injections of neomycin sulphate, an antibiotic chosen due to a side effect of causing permanent deafness.

Although the use of monkeys and kittens took place overseas, the first part of these experiments, where new-born piglets were killed so that their cells could be harvested and used took place in NZ and was approved by an NZ Animal Ethics Committee.

Rats were also used; their skulls were drilled into and cells from Auckland Island Piglets were implanted in their brains. This experiment happened in NZ and was approved by the same Animal Ethics Committee.

Executive Director of NZAVS said NZ is linked to all these horrific experiments.

“It is truly ghastly what is happening to these animals. Most New Zealanders would be shocked to find out that a company based right here in NZ is involved,” she said.

“The pigs will also suffer. The cells are harvested from baby pigs, likely taken from their mums living in concrete pens.”

The group’s concerns extend beyond just the animals, however. The animals involved are being used in two ways: as ‘animal models’ and as ‘factories.’ Ms Jackson said that both are scientifically questionable.

“The animal model – testing on other species to model the human response – just isn’t reliable. No amount of testing on monkeys, kittens, and rats will accurately teach us about human outcomes. We’re simply too different.”

“Using animals as factories to produce spare parts – like the cells harvested from these pigs – can work but alternative methods can give superior results. For example, insulin harvested from pigs can work in humans, but it is not as effective as insulin created in a lab. Modern technology is just more effective than using animal parts.”

“It makes no sense to use animals as ‘factories’ or as ‘spare parts’ in an age of human stem cell technology and the production of human ‘mini-organs’ as well as 3D bioprinting.”

The group is now calling on Living Cell Technologies, an Australasian institute connected to all of this research, to begin investing in ethical, non-animal-based and human-relevant research methods.

“Though Living Cell Technologies has been exploiting the Auckland Island pigs since the 90s, we are hoping they will be willing to make a change. And even if they won’t change, it is important that we expose this research and inform Kiwi’s of the type of animal experiments NZ supports and is involved in,” said Ms Jackson.

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