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The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) has launched a new campaign in which, through the 12 days to Christmas tradition, will be revealing 12 atrocities inflicted on animals by the University of Otago’s vivisection labs. From the 1st to the 12th of December 2021, people can tune in and help them expose what is happening. Each day NZAVS will upload a new experiment in their Otago Exposed! campaign page. 

On day one they exposed rats force-fed alcohol by steel tubes to their stomachs, and those who survived were later subjected to several behavioural tests. On the second day, the experiment exposed was rats having their brains damaged, pierced with electrodes, and put through tests involving receiving electrical shocks through their paws. On day three, the test exposed involved honeybees put in ice to stop them from moving and then being trapped in tiny harnesses. 

The University has ignored any objection about building a new $50 million animal lab, and it wouldn’t even end the killing of animals for dissections. It also is the only university in Aotearoa (New Zealand’s Māori name) that continues to use the notorious Forced Swim Test, in which rats or mice are forced to swim in an inescapable beaker of water until they give up — in a misguided attempt to mimic depression in humans and then assess possible therapies.

There was even a students’ referendum in 2017 in which over half of the students who participated agreed that the Otago University Students’ Association should lobby the University to cease the development of the new lab until transparent consultation with the student body could take place. Otago Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and Otago Students Against Animal Testing clubs helped to publicise the referendum. 

NZAVS is Aotearoa’s primary charity defending animals used in science. Their mission is to end animal experimentation and the harmful use of animals for research, testing and teaching in Aotearoa for animals, humans, and science. You can sign their petition demanding that the government make long-overdue changes to put ending animal experimentation in Aotearoa on the agenda.