And I wouldn't be surprised if a small amount will continue to be there for a very long time yet," he said. Fifteen of these pigs are still at Southland Heirloom Breeds Charitable Trust in Invercargill and are still being used for research into Parkinson's disease. Prior to this, the pigs had been isolated on the island for an estimate of one hundred years. We think time and other resources would be better spent conducting human-relevant research to better increase the chances of helping the millions of people needing kidney transplants around the world. The Auckland Island pig breeding facility was closed down in 2016. As our journalists work to ask the hard questions about our recovery, we also look to you, our readers for support. Reader donations are critical to what we do. Paul Tan, the director of the NZeno, the Southland company researching how to safely transplant Auckland Island pig kidneys into humans said the value of … "If the seals of the facility where they're held are broken or somebody introduces a virus by mistake, or intentionally, then the chance of making pig cells available to humans to control diseases is gone forever.". He wasn't as concerned about DOC's efforts to eradicate the pigs from the Auckland Islands, because he felt there were enough small herds in the country to maintain a disease-free population. Paul Tan, the director of the NZeno, the Southland company researching how to safely transplant Auckland Island pig kidneys into humans said the value of the pigs was "tremendous", and New Zealand was leading the world in its research. To end animal experimentation and the harmful use of animals for research, testing and teaching in Aotearoa - for animals, humans and science. This made the pigs desirable for research subjects as they hadn’t been exposed to the pathogens and diseases that other pigs, in non-isolated areas, had.1 As New Zealand moves from crisis to recovery mode the need to support local industry has been brought into sharp relief. That's disputed by Steinke who said the pigs need to be treated like the "national treasure" they were and left to live in peace on the island. But its spokesperson Marina Steinke said having them in contained facilities puts them more at risk of virus. The new Foreign Affairs Minister talks Great Power rivalry, NZ values, and Winston Peters. Exposed: Kiwi Scientists Suffocate Baby Pigs in Cruel Experiments, Supportive Businesses Helping End Animal Testing in NZ, Pound dog update – some positive news for dogs used in science, Investigation - Experiments on Dogs in NZ, The final results from our Animal Testing Questionnaire 2020, Copyright © The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society 2020. 1. https://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/southland.html#pigs. Yet he described the cull as "ecological sabotage" and said he'd urge the government to step in and help find the Auckland Island pigs find a new home. This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission. Auckland Island Pigs - Where are they now? Passion 4 Paws were trying to rehome all of these pigs who had spent their lives in a breeding facility, where their piglets were used for stem cell research. It is an absolute shame that NZeno is continuing down the archaic path of animal experimentation. Wilson, Clare, "Pig cells treat Parkinson's", New Scientist (17 June 2017) p. 6. A Muslim group examines how an Australian terrorist slipped through our security net, Start your day with our best stories in your inbox. "You just have to look at Mycoplasma bovis recently, and the disease [Rotavirus] for pigeons coming into New Zealand last year," she said. Our friend, Dr Andre Menache, explains why this is scientifically flawed here. If you can help us, please click the button to ensure we can continue to provide quality independent journalism you can trust. The pesky porcines are killing native plants, insects and seabirds - but they're also the only completely virus-free pig species, which scientists think could hold revolutionary remedies to diabetes, Parkinson's disease and organ donor shortages. 2. The Department of Conservation (DOC) is aiming to eradicate wild pigs from the Auckland Islands within 10 years, as part of its Maukahuka Pest Free Auckland Island project, in partnership with Ngāi Tahu. It's a big call to eradicate them when there's potential to save millions of people," he said. In 200 years of the pig species living on the Auckland Islands, she said it hadn't actually eradicated any native plants or birds. The Auckland Islands (Māori: Motu Maha or Maungahuka) are an archipelago of New Zealand, lying 465 kilometres (290 mi) south of the South Island.The main Auckland Island, occupying 510 km 2 (200 sq mi), is surrounded by smaller Adams Island, Enderby Island, Disappointment Island, Ewing Island, Rose Island, Dundas Island, and Green Island, with a combined area of 626 km 2 (240 sq mi). Fifteen of these pigs are still at Southland Heirloom Breeds Charitable Trust in Invercargill and are still being used for research into Parkinson's disease. Acknowledgement: Stephen Horn/Department of Conservation. Its southern South Island operations director Aaron Fleming said pigs, cats and mice had wrecked huge damage to the Auckland Island ecosystem, and the project was an ambitious goal that would allow native species to regenerate and the mauri (or … The Auckland Island pig breeding facility was closed down in 2016. The pigs were originally taken from Auckland Island in 1999 by the Rare Breeds Conservation Society, the "rescuers" then formed a trust with the Invercargill City Council, and called it the Southern Heirloom Breeds Trust. He acknowledged DOC was in a tricky position and said it would be costly and difficult to re-home the pigs in a location away from other virus-carrying pigs. A foster parent who understood the Māori children placed in her care would be in a permanent arrangement has watched those children flourish, knowing OT’s new cultural mandate means it won’t be long before social workers will come to remove them. The Department of Conservation's efforts to cull Auckland Island pigs are being labelled a crime against humanity by the Rare Breeds Conservation Society. Update: Southland Heirloom Breeds Charitable Trust has since leased 16 Auckland Island pigs to NZeno for research purposes. NZeno claims that it wants to use gene editing to inactivate the pig genes that are responsible for the immune rejection of transplanted organs. Our friend, Dr Andre Menache, explains why this is scientifically flawed here. On the 21st November 2017, we were informed that our friends at Passion 4 Paws (an animal sanctuary which has since closed down), had been given five pigs who were originally from the Auckland Island pig breeding facility at Awarua. The Department of Conservation's efforts to cull Auckland Island pigs are being labelled a crime against humanity by the Rare Breeds Conservation Society. Trussed Auckland Island pig (Photo by Dave Matheson) The team were all volunteers and included veterinarian Dr Dave Matheson, and the handlers of six well-trained dogs, which were to prove to be the principal capture mechanism when equipped with transmitting collars, although snares, nets, and tranquillising equipment were also taken. Due to their long isolation, Auckland Island pigs have become the only disease-free pigs on the planet, which makes them suitable for use in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes through pig-human transplants. Help us create a sustainable future for independent local journalism.