The New Zealand Herald online newspaper reports that cats, dogs and other animals (in all 200) were subjected to cruel animal testing experiments in 2010. We are told that the experiments were designed to test for a “humane alternative to the controversial pest control poison 1080”. This implies that the widely used (in NZ and Australia) is inhumane.
The word “humane” is ironic, even bizarre. To find a humane alternative to an inhumane poison by cruel animal testing seems to me to be a form of madness. The experiments were conducted at Lincoln University. They were fully approved.
There were two experiments (a) poisoning with sodium nitrite and (b) poisoning with sodium nitrate.
The animals were poisoned with “encapsulated sodium nitrite” either directly or indirectly by eating animals that had been poisoned with this substance. Encapsulated sodium nitrite is a possum control tool apparently.
We don’t know where the dogs were sourced from and the same applies to the cats and the other animals which included ducks who were force fed with tubes down their throats. Soon after being force fed they struggled to breathe, vomited, had diarrhoea and died a slow death. One duck suffered 48 minutes of pain before dying.
The dogs, for example, were tested for their tolerance of sodium nitrate and were poisoned over six consecutive days and after that time they were observed for signs of vomiting, diarrhoea, heavy panting, excessive thirst, fainting and blueish colouring of lips, gums, paws and nose (anaemia).
The dogs did not show these signs after they had been poisoned at the secondary level by eating carcasses of animals that had been poisoned. Nonetheless, all the dogs were killed after the experiment and that apparently applies to all the animals tested. Was it necessary to kill them? It seems not.
The ‘euthanasia’ method was, on occasionas, also cruel: chickens were gased with carbon dioxide. And an insect, the weta, was tested as well and they were killed after the experiment by freezing to death (I am not suggesting that this is cruel as I don’t know).
We know that the authorities in New Zealand have a similar mentality to feral cats as the government in Australia. They want to get rid of them anyway possible and the poison, 1080, is extensively used. It seems that the New Zealand authorities want to use a poison which is less painful than 1080.