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Animal testing outrageous, says Green MP

5 October, 2001

Animal testing outrageous, says Green MP

Green MP Sue Kedgley today called for a public investigation into the use of animal testing in scientific research.

Ms Kedgley issued her call after the annual report of the national animal ethics advisory committee showed an overall 30 per cent increase in the use of animals in research over the past year.

"The ethics committee say that their cornerstone principle is to reduce, refine and replace the numbers of animals being used in research - but with a 30 per cent increase in one year it's obviously not happening, and we need to find out why.

"New Zealanders have no idea if the basis for this research is well-founded because it's all conducted behind closed doors. We don't know how these animals are being treated by the various institutitons involved in the research, what specific research they are being used for, or even what the ethics committees are defining as 'unreasonable' pain," she said.

The report states that up to 50,000 animals were subjected to 'severe', or 'very severe' suffering during the course of the testing last year.

"It's outrageous! It's time somebody was held accountable for the torment these poor animals are put through each year," Ms Kedgely said.

She said she believed the issue needed to be opened up to public scrutiny, as the present situation was totally inadequate.

"It's virtually impossible to get information out of these institutes or to know if the scientific merits of the research outweighs the torment these animals are being subjected to."

Ms Kedgley was also concerned that approximately 5,000 of the 325,000 animals used in research in New Zealand were transgenic.

She said she found it hard to believe that anyone could justify experimenting on 73,000 fish - a 130 per cent increase on last year, and wanted to know specifically what research they were being used for.


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