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Hodgson must listen to scientists on Wallaceville

Hodgson must listen to scientists on Wallaceville

National's Science spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison says the Government can't dismiss the fears of the international scientific community over the planned closure of the Wallaceville Animal Research Centre.

"Three distinguished scientific bodies have now spoken out - the Australian Society for Reproductive Biology, the American Society of Study for Reproduction and the UK Society for Study of Fertility.

"It is foolish of Science Minister Pete Hodgson to ignore these real concerns," says Dr Hutchison.

"The fact that the Australian scientists have written to senior Government ministers warning of the impact of Wallaceville's closure on future research shows how serious this is.

"While AgResearch's initial plan of so-called 'redevelopment' talked of minimal loss of scientists, it's now clear that there would be a serious loss of top scientists and a serious loss of biotechnology capacity.

"Further, the Hutt Valley region would be hammered by the potential loss of $23 million a year and 234 jobs.

"Pete Hodgson must face reality on New Zealand's scientific research needs, instead of ducking for cover saying it's AgResearch's problem. He can ill-afford to ignore the weight of the international scientific community," says Dr Hutchison.

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