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Stolen dogs returned by captors

Published: 10:49AM Saturday August 27, 2005 Source: One News

Six hunterway dogs, stolen by animal rights activists from Massey University have been found near Wellington on Saturday afternoon.

There were concerns for the safety of Bo and her pups, as they suffer from mucopolysaccharidosis, a rare genetic disease that is also in humans.

"Basically somebody dropped her off to us saying she had been found on the side of a riverbank," says owner Carolyn Press-McKenzie.

Bo and her brood were caught up in the bizarre kidnapping because

the rare genetic disease they carry hold clues to the same disease found in humans

Members of the Animal Liberation Front stole the dogs from Massey University on Tuesday night claiming the university vet school bred the dogs with the fatal disease to carry out research.

"What these people have done is give it to Massey so they can breed more dogs with a serious genetic disorder which I think is cruel," says Mark Eden, from the National Anti Vivsection Campaign.

"Deliberately breeding dogs which they know will have a serious disease is cruel and that shouldn't be done," he says.

The Animal Liberation Front wouldn't appear on camera but says on its website that the Massey farm is a vivisection lab.

Massey denies these allegations and says farmers donate the huntaways because they hope vets can find a cure for the disease

It attacks the nervous system and in humans results in a life expentancy only into the early teens.

"It provides great promise for humans that are suffering from this disease in new zealand and around the world. So we will not be swayed by this action. It is the right thing to be doing," says Professor Grant Guilford from the Massey University Vet School..

Bo is a carrier and her offspring won't live long, but for the 15 New Zealand suffers of mucopolysaccharidosis, they really are their only hope.

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