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University Killing Deaf Kittens For CI Research

VIDEO: Deaf News - Students outraged after Australian university made six kittens Deaf for a year before killing them for cochlear implant research.

VICTORIA, AU -- Daily Mail: Australian universities are under fire for using cruel animal testing practices as part of various medical and scientific studies.

But one Deakin University student is calling on the prestigious institutions to end their cruel practices.

Alexandra Sedgwick, 24, has kickstarted a campaign against her own university after she suspected Deakin to be using fetal pigs cut from the bodies of pregnant mothers in scientific studies.

Ms Sedgwick organised a meeting on Friday morning with the Dean of the faculty of science, engineering and built environment, to put her case against the university's current animal testing policy.

But the vegan activist said her message was difficult to get across as she was refused any support in the meeting.

'It was an intense experience. I had requested to bring in people as support which the Dean didn't allow,' Ms Sedgwick told Daily Mail Australia.

Ms Sedgwick said the university branded her view as 'unique' and unsupported as she was not allowed to bring in her support team.

Other Australian universities also use cruel animal testing practices for scientific and educational purposes.

The University of Melbourne made six kittens Deaf before killing them as part of a medical study with the Bionics Institute while Monash University made eight healthy baby monkeys brain dead as part of a brain injury study, Fairfax Media reported.

Despite Ms Sedgwick's efforts, the Dean stood by his position that animal tissue was more effective in scientific studies than non-animal alternatives, and insisted they had already adopted a cruelty-free stance.

'If they were a cruelty-free university, why wouldn't they agree to stop using animals? It doesn't make sense to say we have all these animals but then say we're not going agreeing to stop,' Ms Sedgwick said.

'For me this was never about Deakin, it was about Victorian universities and institutions and I had hoped Deakin would be the first to change,' she said.

She acknowledged the difficulty of being up against a big organisation with extensive resources but hopes to further expose animal cruelty in science through her social media accounts and by connecting with like-minded people.

'I've had hundreds of people contact me and hopefully they will be willing to tell their stories.

'I hope to connect with Victorians, students, researchers and interns who are brave enough to tell the truth about this, as universities are all quite secretive especially in the research department,' she said.

Over 900,000 animals are killed for scientific purposes in Victoria alone, which has been increasing every year for the past 10 years according to the most recent data from 2014.

Ms Sedgwick said this does not include animal organs purchased from slaughterhouses.

While she described the mood as 'devastating', Ms Sedgwick said she will not stop pursuing the issue and urges all students not to participate in dissection.

Trevor Day, Deakin's executive dean of the faculty of science, engineering and built environment, told Fairfax Media that there was 'very limited use of live animals in teaching and training.'


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