Disclaimer: Warning - Methamphetamine Content.
This article contains information and references regarding methamphetamine, a highly addictive and illegal stimulant.
It's really important to NZAVS that this article doesn't cause you harm. If you or someone in your life has been affected by drug abuse, then please read this email, knowing that my intention isn't to offend you in any way; it's to educate people on the animal experimentation that still occurs for this type of research. If drug abuse affects you or a member of your whānau, then we recommend checking out this resource.
Team NZAVS has been conducting an investigation into how guinea pigs are used for science in Aotearoa, and today, we are officially exposing our findings to the nation! Check out our brand new guinea pigs case studies page here.
Sadly, these small, cute rodents are used in ways where they rarely make it out alive.
In 2021, 3,431 guinea pigs were used for science in NZ. A staggering 97% were killed.
In fact, the percentage of guinea pigs who were killed after or during use has never been below 91% since 2010.1
During our investigation, we made a shocking discovery…
Guinea pigs were injected with ‘meth’!
Eight female Dunkin Hartley guinea pigs were sourced from a breeding unit and used in this ‘meth’ experiment.2 They were housed separately and treated in two groups.
Each guinea pig was injected with low doses of a sedative and caffeine. Blood samples were taken from their ear 1, 2, 3, and 4 hours after the injection, which served as control data.
Half of the guinea pigs were injected with saline (control) solution a week later and the other half were injected with crystal meth. This was done over three days, with one day in between to try and mimic recreational drug exposure in humans.
Eight hours after the last injection, each guinea pig was deeply anaesthetized, and their liver was cut out for analysis.
A blood sample was taken directly from their heart before they were killed via an anaesthetic overdose.
The purpose of this experiment was to study the effect of methamphetamine on enzyme activity in fertile female guinea pigs to then try and translate these findings to pregnant people.
However, we know that using animals to try and model human outcomes fails over 90% of the time, so we know that you will agree that this experiment is categorically both ‘unethical’ and fundamentally flawed.
“Injecting guinea pigs with ‘meth’ is beyond unethical. This isn’t the answer for improving human health; in fact, it is siphoning funds away from better, human-centered and animal-free research, which ultimately could deliver better, long-term health outcomes for people in Aotearoa.” Miss Tara Jackson, Executive Director of NZAVS.
NZAVS has been calling on the NZ Government to start funding animal-free research in NZ for years now. Experiments like this one involving guinea pigs are just further proof of the urgency for our research community to have access to better funding opportunities. Our government needs to act now!
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Note: At NZAVS, it's important that the work we produce is evidence-based, which is why we include references wherever possible. However, it's also crucial that our many fierce supporters know that NZAVS is a non-violent charity, and we seek to make change through peaceful methods. Non-violence to us isn’t just physical, it also includes avoiding verbal and psychological violence.