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Animal experiments as secret as SIS

Animal experiments as secret as SIS

Green MP Sue Kedgley today called on the Government to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding animal experiments in New Zealand.

Ms Kedgley, the Green spokesperson for animal welfare, said it was crucial that New Zealanders know why secret experiments on live animals are being conducted on more than 260,000 live animals each year.

"There is an impenetrable wall of secrecy surrounded animal experiments in New Zealand," said Ms Kedgley, who was a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Australia New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART), in Christchurch today.

"The only other taxpayer-funded activity that is so shrouded in secrecy, and for which there is no system of public accountability, is the SIS.

"The public has a right to know why scientists are conducting secret experiments on 373 cats, 231 dogs, 525 horses, 17,393 birds, 34,811 sheep, and 49,432 cows."

Ms Kedgley launched a new private member's bill, the Animal Welfare (Openness of Information Pertaining to the Use of Animals in Research Teaching and Testing) Bill at the conference.

The bill would require the public release of information relating to the approval, consideration and results of animal experimentation in New Zealand.

"Most of these secret experiments on live animals are conducted at taxpayer funded research institutes and universities.

"Surely, as taxpayers, we are entitled to know why all these experiments are being conducted, given that many of them cause animals to suffer severely and breach the basic values of a civilised, democratic society," said Ms Kedgley.

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