In 2016, the University of Otago announced that they were starting to build a new $50,000,000 (fifty million dollar) animal research facility. As reported by staff, they already had the largest laboratory animal facility in New Zealand.
Rather than moving away from cruel animal experiments, Otago has chosen to upgrade their current facilities which means that animals will be likely be used as test subjects for years to come!
We are deeply disappointed that this is happening at a time where other universities around the world are phasing out invasive animal use for research, testing and teaching (RTT).
Lab animals need your help - Sign our petition urging the University of Otago to lead New Zealand forward by embracing humane education!
Why we need to take action:
- Thousands of animals are being hurt and killed every year: The University of Otago used 17,977 animals in 2017 alone and the majority (14,471) were killed. Rats, mice, cats, dogs, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, fish and many other animals are used as lab tools by the university.
- Students will learn better: Non-animal-based methods are superior to animal dissections in effectively teaching students. Read more here.
- Animal-based research isn't helping humans: Using animals as predictive models for humans to disease, drugs and other substances doesn't work due to the many differences that exist between species. Put simply, we aren't 70kg rats! We explain why different areas of research at Otago won't be improved with further animal studies here.
- There are valid and more ethical research, testing and teaching methods: Amazing methods exist that are not only humane but are also reliable and accurate, unlike animal models, such as organ on a chip or living, metabolically active 3D tissue models. Other non-animal based methods include sophisticated tests that use human cells and tissues, advanced computer-modelling techniques and humane studies with human volunteers, like micro-dosing. Read more on non-animal/human based methods here.
- There is a global shift happening away from animal experimentation: There is global opposition to this new animal lab being built, organisations and individuals from around the world have spoken out about how disappointing this is for not only animals but also for scientific progress! Read these statements here.
Take action for animals now and sign and share our petition asking the University of Otago to leave animals alone and embracing humane education instead.