Finding homes for 50 retired lab rats

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Fifty retired laboratory rats are being offered for adoption to find their “forever homes.” This program is a collaborative effort between the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and the University of Auckland, launched to mark World Day for Animals in Labs.

Every year in New Zealand, approximately 300,000 animals are utilized for research, testing, and teaching, with many not surviving the process. This new adoption program aims to provide a second chance to animals that have been used or bred for scientific research.

Jodi Salinsky, the university’s animal welfare officer, stated that the use of animals in research is a difficult decision guided by the lack of validated, accessible alternatives. The university, along with the NZAVS, is actively seeking to rehome as many animals as possible, demonstrating a significant shift towards more humane practices in the scientific community.

The program currently relies on donations but has gained attention for its potential to change both the lives of the animals and their new owners. Tara Jackson, the executive director of NZAVS, emphasized the intelligence and affectionate nature of rats, noting that adopting one could significantly enrich a household.

The initiative also advocates for governmental support to expand such rehoming projects and fund animal-free research methods, aiming for a future where fewer animals are used in scientific settings.

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