Basal ganglia injury at term remains a major cause of disability, such as cerebral palsy. In this study we tested the hypotheses that blockade of astrocytic connexin hemichannels with a mimetic peptide would improve survival of striatal phenotypic neurons after global cerebral ischaemia in term-equivalent fetal sheep, and that neuronal survival would be associated with electrophysiological recovery. Fetal sheep (0.85 gestation) were randomly assigned to receive a short or long (1 or 25 h) intracerebroventricular infusion of a mimetic peptide or vehicle, starting 90 minutes after 30 minutes of cerebral ischaemia. Sheep were killed 7 days after ischaemia. Cerebral ischaemia was associated with reduced numbers of calbindin-28k, calretinin, parvalbumin and GAD positive striatal neurons (P < 0.05 ischaemia + vehicle, n = 6 vs. sham ischaemia, n = 6) but not ChAT or nNOS positive neurons. Short infusion of peptide (n = 6) did not significantly improve survival of any striatal phenotype. Long infusion of peptide (n = 6) was associated with increased survival of calbindin-28k, calretinin, parvalbumin and GAD positive neurons (P < 0.05 vs. ischaemia + vehicle). Neurophysiological recovery was associated with improved survival of calbindin-28k, calretinin and parvalbumin positive striatal neurons (P < 0.05 for all). In conclusion, connexin hemichannel blockade after cerebral ischaemia in term-equivalent fetal sheep improves survival of striatal GABA-ergic neurons.