A blight on New Zealand’s animal welfare record (not the first).
The University of Otago has announced it will build a new $50 million, five-story animal research facility.
SPCA New Zealand has formally denounced the development. “The SPCA strongly opposes any practice that causes animals unnecessary pain and suffering, including animal research,” says Ric Odom, CEO.
“Animals are sentient beings that can feel pain, fear, and distress, so we are wholeheartedly committed to the principles of the ‘3Rs’ – replacing the use of animals in research, reducing the number of animals used, and refining experimental procedure to reduce suffering.”
The SPCA would like to see the $50 million cost of this giant animal research facility used to develop further alternative techniques, rather than used to build a laboratory for conducting further experiments on sentient animals.”
Meanwhile, Professor Richard Blaikie, the University’s deputy vice-chancellor of research and enterprise, said that the facility will provide the “highest standard of care.”
That’s hard to believe considering the University was involved in a study in 2009 using live pigs who were shot in the head to study blood spatter patterns. If the University thinks that is essential research and a high standard of care, then I shudder to think of what’s coming.
All I can say is if you are thinking of studying in New Zealand, you might want to show your support for animals by boycotting the University of Otago.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand