Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Rats 'force fed' alcohol at University of Otago

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Scientific watchdogs are ringing the alarm after learning that researchers at the University of Otago forced tubes down the throats of young rats to force them to drink alcohol.

The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) has started a large-scale investigation into research conducted at the University of Otago after the university built a $50 million animal lab.

"Force feeding rats alcohol is completely unethical. This is going to do nothing to improve human health and is siphoning funds away from human-centred and human-relevant projects," NZAVS executive director Tara Jackson said in a statement.

"NZAVS is calling on the University of Otago to refocus its science on human-centred and human-relevant science."

"The bottom line is that rats and humans are fundamentally difference. Force-feeding alcohol to rats does not teach us anything about humans or help us solve the issue of binge-drinking in teenagers."

The study is just one of many conducted at the University of Otago, and NZAVS said there is more to come.

"We are investigating as much as we can about the University of Otago, and the results are shocking. They are conducting scientifically questionable and ethically horrific experiments on innocent animals. We will expose as much as we can," said Jackson.

"It is hard to think of this as credible research. It seems like research for the sake of research to justify funding. Force feeding alcohol to rats is not going to help humans.

NZAVS has been campaigning for the University of Otago to improve its treatment of animals for years and now is planning to compel the university to change.

"To be frank, the University of Otago has had enough time to sort out their treatment of animals. So now we are publicly shaming them and will be taking our case to the government next year," said Jackson."

NZAVS is starting a ’12 Days of Christmas’ campaign that will be exposing a new ‘cruel’ experiment every day. Their goal is to draw attention to the experiments happening at the University of Otago.

"Otago can only get away with this because their research happens behind closed doors. Our job as a watchdog is to open those doors and drag this research into view of the public. We believe most New Zealanders would be appalled by this sort of research."

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.