Most animal research in New Zealand is conducted for the agricultural sector in order to increase profits and productivity. In 2019, over 80,000 cows and 70,000 sheep were used in experiments. This research includes genetically modifying cows to increase milk production and researching slaughter methods and pain management.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) oversees the use of animals in research – the same Government body responsible for improving agricultural productivity. This is a clear conflict of interest and forms a key reason why SAFE is calling for a Commissioner for Animals to provide independent oversight, monitoring and advice on animal welfare in Aotearoa.