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Napier unites to oppose animal research

Napier unites to oppose animal research
Animal lovers embrace concert and walk for the animals

NAPIER — A free outdoor family concert and walk for the animals today will highlight the abuse of companion animals in animal research and will demand better protection for laboratory animals.
National animal advocacy organisation SAFE today says Napier is home to one of the largest animal testing facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. Valley Animal Research Centre (VARC) is an animal research provider with facilities in the Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay. SAFE understands that VARC has a colony of up to 200 beagles for use in research and also tests on cats and horses.
“VARC is a commercial operator contracted to experiment on animals by what are likely to be overseas corporations,” says SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek. “Does New Zealand really want to be used as a convenient host for international companies who wish to conduct cruel animal testing?"

SAFE has obtained disturbing evidence which reveals that VARC is keeping beagles in substandard housing. The organisation also has grave concerns regarding the fate of these animals.
“As is the case with most New Zealand animal research, VARC remains secretive about its research with minimal information being released about the level of animal suffering inflicted or the intended purpose of the research. SAFE has called on the Minister responsible for animal welfare to place an immediate moratorium on all current beagle research and is demanding a ban on the use of companion animals for research purposes,” says Kriek.
Walk for the animals, today 1pm — SAFE and Save the Beagles Campaign will lead a Compassionate Steps Walk for the animals from 1pm today in Napier. The short walk will serve to highlight our positive relationship with animals and to demonstrate our opposition to animals being used for animal experiments. Guest speaker Green MP Sue Kedgley will call for more transparency with regards to animal research in New Zealand.

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