Party pill testing on animals could be back on the agenda, following a review by Ministry of HealthFebruary 21st, 2019
A recent review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 by the Ministry of Health has renewed the possibility of animals being used to test Party Pills and synthetic cannabis. This is despite the fact that no amount of testing on animals whose physiology is very different from humans, will make drugs safer for human consumption.
Prior to the introduction of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 which sought to restrict the sale of Party Pills and synthetic cannabis, early drafts of the Bill required recreational drugs be tested on animals in an unscientific attempt to prove they are low risk before they could be sold.
The subsequent outrage from the public forced the Government to reconsider its position. 60,000 New Zealanders signed a petition against this form of animal testing which was delivered to Parliament. SAFE, NZAVS, SPCA and HUHA pressured the Government to amend the Bill.
Subsequently, the Government bowed down to public pressure and added a requirement to the Bill that potentially harmful drugs could not be tested on animals. This was a massive step forward for the rights of animals in New Zealand and has saved animals’ lives.
Recently, however, the Ministry of Health reviewed the Psychoactive Substances Act citing a number of failures with the legislation, stating “The Psychoactive Substances Act has not achieved its purpose of protecting health and minimising harm”. One of the three main reasons for failure the report claims is that “Animal testing provisions limit the ability to prove that products are low risk and can therefore be approved.”
This statement from the Ministry of Health could potentially open the door for the ban on testing Party Pills on animals to be lifted.
Tests that the Ministry of Health originally proposed included forcing rats and dogs to inhale smoke over extended periods of time and observing their reactions to the harmful drugs pumped into their lungs. Some proposed tests required that the animals be exposed to enough of a substance to kill 50% of the population, and others ultimately required all animals to be killed for internal examination. Not only are these tests cruel, but they’re also completely invalid and will never make drugs safer for human consumption.
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) has launched a campaign calling on caring Kiwis to urge the Government to maintain their focus on other methods to reduce drug harm, as no amount of testing on animals will make drugs safer for human use.
- Animals used in labs including dogs, mice and rats needs your help. Head to the NZAVS campaign site to email the Government, demanding the ban on testing psychoactive substances on animals in New Zealand stays firmly in place.