Call For Outright Ban On Xenotransplants
World Day for Laboratory Animals)
Increasing Incidence Of Epidemics Such As Sars?
New Zealand To Become Source Of Such Epidemics?
Anti-Vivisectionists Call For Outright Ban On Xenotransplants
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND:
The NZ Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) is appealing to the Government to reduce the chance of New Zealand becoming a source for epidemics such as SARS. The anti-vivisectionists claim that SARS- like epidemics could become more frequent should xenotransplantation (transplantation of organs between species - especially animal to human) be legalised.
"We are continuing our calls for the present moratorium on xenotransplantation to be made into a permanent ban in order to protect public health", said Phil Clayton, NZAVS Director.
"It has been reported that SARS may have originated from pigs or poultry. The present epidemic should be viewed as a warning against the use of pigs as organ donors for humans, as it is impossible to screen for unknown viruses", he said.
"Xenotransplantation bypasses the natural human barriers such as skin and digestive system. If a virus that was harmless to pigs, but harmful to humans was transmitted due to xenotransplants that took place in New Zealand, the consequences for both public health and the economy would be disastrous", said Mr Clayton.
Xenotransplantation is an issue that NZAVS is highlighting to urge the government to abolish vivisection due to its effects on human health, rather than treating vivisection as an agriculture or animal welfare matter.