60,000 strong say 'leave animals out'
21 May 2012
Over 60,000 people have voiced their objection to the proposed testing of party pills on animals.
Today at lunchtime, SAFE, The New Zealand Anti Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and the Royal New Zealand SPCA. and supporters accompanied by dogs, including rescued laboratory dogs, presented a petition on the steps of Parliament, asking the government to specifically prohibit animal testing of these drugs. The organisations say public outcry against the cruel tests has been overwhelming.
The petition calls on the House of Representatives to stop animal testing of party pills and gathered over 60,000 signatures in just over one month, showing strong public opposition to harming animals for the sake of recreational drugs.
The petition handover took place despite the refusal last week by the National Party MPs on the health select committee to hear submissions on animal testing during the hearings on the psychoactive substances bill.
"The select committee is not only missing an opportunity to prevent unnecessary suffering for dogs and rats but also to listen to the significant number of Kiwis that clearly want animal testing ruled out," says SAFE Executive Director Hans Kriek.
Chance to have your say on legal highs animal testing
Submission period now closed
The government called for public submissions on the psychoactive substances bill, which aims to have recreational drugs proven safe before they can be sold. Testing may be necessary - but not on animals, which the bill currently allows. We're asking that a clause specifically prohibiting animal testing be included in any proposed legislation, and you can help.
If you haven't yet added your name to our petition please take a moment now, and share with your friends.
Submission period now closed
Members of the public made submissions to the Select Committee explaining that testing recreational drugs on animals is ethically wrong, and how smart, modern, alternative research methods would be both a compassionate and more reliable option.
LEAVE ANIMALS OUT OF LEGAL HIGH TESTING
SAFE has joined forces with The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and the SPCA to prevent the testing of psychoactive drugs ("party pills" or "legal highs") on animals, saying it is completely unacceptable.
Tests, to check whether party drugs are safe for humane consumption, would involve extreme suffering and cruelty to both large and small animals (rats and dogs) leading to protracted death, pain and distress. Using animals as the subject of tests for recreational drugs is both unethical and unnecessary.
Show your opposition to the proposal by signing the petition to leave animals out of legal highs testing!
You can also download the paper petition and get your friends, family, workmates and acquaintances to sign them. Please make sure to only use the petition provided as any sent in not on the official form cannot be counted.
Freepost is provided for returns. You can add your signature to both the paper and online petition.
SAFE will also be calling on you to make a submission to the Select Committee considering the Bill when the time comes. NZAVS is providing information on how to do this to anyone that is interested. For an info pack send your address by email to email@example.com and one will be posted.
Download the FAQ for more information.
Please donate to support SAFE's vital work for New Zealand's animals.
Animals facing death for legal highs
SAFE and other animal welfare groups say it is unacceptable that the Government is still considering using animals for testing of party pills. Animals will be experimented on under a controversial scientific testing method being considered by the Government to determine whether the ‘legal highs' party drugs are safe for human consumption.
"The proposed testing of party pills on animals would add to an already shocking figure for New Zealand - with last year over 327,000 animals experimented on. Animal testing is cruel and unnecessary and this latest news makes a mockery of a system that claims it is working at reducing animal experiments," says Campaign Manager Mandy Carter.
"Better alternatives already exist to animal experiments, so why subject animals to cruelty if we don't need to?" says Mandy. "In the UK recreational drug, alcohol and tobacco testing is banned, it's time for New Zealand to do the same".
SAFE, the SPCA and The Green party are urging New Zealanders to fight the proposal when public submissions are called for.
Although Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has ruled out the controversial Lethal Dose (LD50) test in which doses of a drug are given to a sample group of animals until half the test group dies, he has said other forms of animal testing are possible.
Show your opposition to the proposal by e-mailing or writing to Peter Dunne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post: c/o Parliament Buildings, Private Bag 18888, Wellington 6160 (no stamp necessary).
Increased suffering reveals failure of animal testing system
A 35% increase in the number of animals suffering in experiments indicates the failure of the animal testing regulatory system. The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) has released its latest annual report on animal testing in New Zealand, revealing that 327,674 animals were experimented on in 2011 - a deplorable figure.
"Despite NAEAC's responsibility to reduce animal experiments, little has changed in 10 years, with nearly 3 million animals tested on in the last decade," says SAFE Campaign Manager Mandy Carter. "Even worse, an average of 43% of animals died or were euthanised following the end of the studies."
In 2011, a staggering 17,581 animals were subjected to the two severest impact grades of animal testing, where animals will have undergone procedures that cause extreme pain and distress. Most were mice and fish, with possums, cats, cows, sheep and rabbits also suffering in these cruel experiments.
The report also reveals that the majority of animal testing in New Zealand takes place on ‘production animals', particularly cows and sheep - experiments aimed at increasing the profits of animal agricultural industries. This includes the controversial genetic engineering done at AgResearch - most recently, macabre experiments on mice and cows resulting in a single ‘successful' deformed calf - undertaken in order to produce cows with ‘added value' to the dairy industry. Less than 10% of tests were performed for medical research.
"There seems to be no real commitment to reduce the suffering in New Zealand labs," says Ms Carter. "Unfortunately, the Government seems content with the status quo, even though most Kiwis completely oppose cruelty to animals and there are better alternative non-animal testing methods available."
"The NAEAC report obscures the reality of suffering for animals each day in New Zealand labs. There is a real lack of transparency and SAFE questions the integrity of the system," says Ms Carter.
As part of this year's Animal Welfare Act review SAFE called for an overhaul of the regulatory system overseeing New Zealand's animal experiments, a system that is vulnerable to abuse and non-compliance and that works to conceal animal suffering. SAFE encourages the public to contact their local MP through the website animalwelfare.org.nz and demand a system that provides genuine protection for New Zealand's laboratory animals.
Around 300,000 animals per year are used in experimentation in New Zealand.
Sign the petition to leave animals out of legal highs testing.
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