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Greens demand end to barbaric practise

24 July, 2003
Greens demand end to barbaric practise

Green MP Sue Kedgley has called for an immediate end to the use of animals in experiments where they will be subjected to severe and very severe suffering.

Ms Kedgley, the Green spokesperson for Animal Welfare, said the annual report released today by the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee showed completely intolerable levels of suffering by animals in scientific experiments.

12,939 of 263,000 live animals used in scientific experiments were subjected to 'very severe' levels of suffering, the highest rating of suffering.

"That is intolerable and New Zealand should be following the lead of other countries, such as the European Union which prohibits experiments on animals that cause them severe suffering," said Ms Kedgley.

"The European Union has a directive that prohibits the sort of animal suffering inflicted on nearly 13,000 animals in New Zealand.

"New Zealand needs to follow suit and prohibit any scientific experiment on a live animal that subjects the animal to severe or very severe suffering."

The National Animal Ethics Committee itself concedes that "we must assume that animals experience pain in a manner similar to humans and therefore decisions that are made about their welfare should be based on this assumption".

"Imagine if we allowed humans to be subjected to the same levels of suffering as these animals," said Ms Kedgley.

She was pleased to see the numbers of animals subjected to sever and very severe suffering were about 1500 less than the previous year, but this was still nearly 13,000 too many.

"This practise is not tolerated by the European Union, so why on earth do we tolerate it here in New Zealand?" asked Ms Kedgley.


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