Animal rights activists are calling for change after it emerged Kiwi scientists gassed piglets to death in "horrific" American-funded experiments.
The experiments, carried out by Massey University researchers, were undertaken to determine the best gas combination to use to euthanise pre-weaned pigs.
The experiments saw the piglets exposed to a variety of different gases that left them gasping for breath and struggling to escape, before eventually suffocating.
The scientists recorded the responses as the animals slowly died from lack of oxygen.
The research, funded by the American Pork Board, reached the conclusion that suffocating baby pigs involved too many welfare compromises and suggested there should be other alternatives.
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) is appalled that New Zealand scientists agreed to carry out the research and is calling for action against animal experimentation.
"This is horrific to see that baby pigs are being repeatedly suffocated to death," NZAVS's Executive Director Tara Jackson said.
"We suspect this method of slaughter wouldn't be allowed on New Zealand farms, so why are we researching it for American companies?"
Jackson says there needs to be changes in the way we tackle science.
"We are better than this and shouldn't be letting big American companies fund such unethical experiments in New Zealand.
"It is horrific that baby pigs are being slowly suffocated to death. We need big changes in the way we tackle science."
The NZAVS has now launched a petition to the New Zealand House of Representatives demanding to stop animal experimentation.
The petition has reached over 8000 signatures.
"From cell-cultured organoids and 3D printing to the use of human cells and sophisticated computer models, there are many scientific methods that can be used instead of cruel, outdated and unreliable animal experiments," it reads.