Pound Dogs Used for Testing and Killed

Pound Dogs Used for Testing and Killed

We’ve uncovered more cruel and invalid experiments that have happened here in New Zealand. One involved a modification of the notorious LD50 test and the other involved subjecting man’s best friend to a cruel and unnecessary test.

Both barbaric experiments, which we’ve outlined below, were approved by the Lincoln University Animal Ethics Committee.


Experiment One

The aim of this experiment was to try and test the primary poisoning risk of sodium nitrite on native animals.

Chickens, pigeons, mallard ducks and weta were subject to a modification of the LD50 test - the lethal dose of a substance required to kill 50% of the test animals. A cruel and outdated test developed in 1927.1Find out more about the LD50 Test here.

Chickens and domestic mallard ducks were poisoned by force-feeding them; sticking a plastic tube deep into their throats and injecting the poison straight into their crops.

Shortly after, they were struggling to breathe, vomiting, had diarrhoea, and died painful, slow deaths with one duck in agony for 48 minutes before finally giving up and passing.

In another part of the same experiment, ducks, chickens, pigeons, budgies and weta were offered the poisonous food, but luckily not all animals ate the poison. But it was not to help their fate.

After the feeding phase, the researchers killed most of the animals for dissection. The weta were killed by freezing them and then grinding them into a paste with mortar and pestle…

Access the full experiment here.


The Second Experiment

This experiment was conducted to try and test the secondary poisoning risk on dogs, cats and chickens who might eat the carcasses of animals who have been poisoned by sodium nitrate.

Dogs, cats and chickens were used in a secondary poisoning risk test where they were fed the carcasses of poisoned possums. 

Ten dogs of various breeds from the pound were transported to a test facility. These dogs were fed poisoned possum for several days on end.

The dogs were observed for signs of poisoning (vomiting, excessive thirst, diarrhoea, heavy panting, fainting, and bluish colouring of lips, gums, paws and nose) by a researcher, but luckily none of the dogs showed any obvious signs. Again, surviving the poisoning did not help their fate. All dogs were killed after the experiment.

Ten cats were caught from the wild. They fed them poisoned possum for several days, after which the cats, too, were killed.

Ten chickens were bought from a commercial farm, fed poisoned possum and killed through gassing them with carbon dioxide.

Read about the full experiment here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Christchurch City Council has stated that the dogs used in this cruel test were not taken from a Christchurch City Council Pound:

"The Christchurch City Council did not support nor provide dogs for this testing. Our animal shelter ensures lost and found animals receive sufficient care and welfare during their stay."

The problem we are faced with is that the only pounds that we know of in Christchurch are Christchurch City Council Pounds so the question still remains — where did these dogs come from?


Approximately 200 animals lost their lives. All had the right to live, all wanted to live.

This Christmas, please take some time to think about the fate of animals used in science. I hope you will consider making a special Christmas donation today to help our campaigns and end the cruel treatment of animals in science.

We will keep on digging, uncovering dirty cruel tests done right here in New Zealand. You have the right to know, you have the right to act.

We can no longer accept researchers to be able to play 'god' behind closed doors and to continue senseless and cruel experiments instead of viable, humane research methods.

Together we can put pressure on decision-makers to never approve such cruelty again. As there will be uproar! Together we are a force to be reckoned with. Find out how you can take further action here.

Thank you for so fiercely defending animals used in science with us.




1. Rowan, A. N. (1983). The LD50--The Beginning of the End.