Veterinarians in a university brutally slaughtered a dozen animals in a cruel experiment that violated animal ethics guidelines.
Newly uncovered documents reveal that vets in two top universities in Australia slaughtered 12 sheep by cutting their throats without stunning them first, as part of a merciless training program.
The documents show that the University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University course violated ethical requirements and caused “significant adverse impacts” on the welfare of the animals used.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries, which provided a facility for the course, has launched an investigation into the program.
This comes after concerns were raised about a 2017 training project a dozen sheep were killed without stunning them, news.com.au reports.
The findings of a report into the incident showed that three of the 12 sheep were used in an inhalation experiment before they were killed.
Participants described the sheep as “near death” and in poor condition, meanwhile the investigation questioned whether it was appropriate to transport these sheep.
The poor creatures were fully conscious when the veterinarians slit their throats open, despite there being no learning objectives in the course for killing animals.
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The reasoning they gave for this barbaric act was to prepare students for situations in the field where they would need to slaughter the animal and there was no gun, captive bolt gun, sedation available.
An MP from the Animal Justice Party in Australia said it was “shocking” the course had been allowed to continue for so long and that it appeared the department took “no real disciplinary action” following the investigation.
The Animal Justice Party also called for an inquiry to investigate the use of animals in experimentation.
“Animal experimentation is one of the most hidden of all animal-use industries in Australia, with virtually no transparency or accountability,” Ms Hurst said.
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DPI director general Scott Hansen confirmed that the course leader for the program has been suspended and prevented from engaging in further animal research pending the outcome of the university’s investigation.
A spokesperson for the University of Sydney said that some of the sheep from the training program were used for a research project that involved inhaling a potential anti-cancer compound through a nebuliser.
She said: “Smoke inhalation was not part of the project, and our investigation found no evidence of the sheep being adversely affected by the nebuliser process.
“We have taken steps to prevent similar issues occurring in the future which includes further strengthening our governance and oversight of research and teaching activities that involve animals and enhancing the training we provide to our staff, students and affiliates who will be working with animals."
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