A rat from a scientific research facility who was adopted by a loving human carer has an affectionate snuggle. Image Credit: We Animals Media

Australia’s barbaric brain injury experiments are not clever

Tomorrow, (24 April) marks World Day for Animals in Laboratories, and Humane Research
Australia, is calling for an end to Australia’s involvement in barbaric traumatic brain injury
experiments carried out on animals at universities across the country.

Humane Research Australia CEO, Helen Marston: “Each year Australian researchers are provided huge amounts of money in grants to study traumatic brain injury (TBI) but the methods used are barbaric, unscientific and in no way helpful to humans who actually suffer TBI”.

“We have uncovered information revealing that researchers at the Howard Florey Institute of Neuroscience & Mental Health (University of Melbourne), Monash University and the University of Western Australia, are dropping heavy weights from a height onto the brains of animals causing a traumatic injury. The experiments are barbaric, far from scientific and do not replicate the human condition of TBI”.

Further details of the procedures can be found here.

The University has recently acknowledged that animals are often not an ideal model for scientific research but HRA holds the view that no animal model truly represents the human condition and therefore results are unreliable.

Further, Dr Ashwin Kumaria, neurosurgeon at Queen’s Medical Centre, UK says 1, that “experimental in vivo models offer the potential to study TBI in the laboratory, however, treatments that were neuroprotective in animals have, thus far, largely failed to translate in human clinical studies”.

“Bad science must no longer be funded or conducted in this day and age and we call for an end to all animal experiments” Ms Marston concluded.


Video footage of the weight drop device in operation

A Novel Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury for Juvenile Rats 


Photograph of the device and rat under the device at the University of Western Australia
Photograph of the device and rat under the device at the University of Western Australia


1. In vitro Models as a Platform to Investigate Traumatic Brain Injury Ashwin Kumaria ATLA 2017, Vol 45, 201-211

For more information, visit www.humaneresearch.org.au or call 1800 486 263.


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