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National Anti-vivisection campaign

16 December 2005

National Anti-vivisection campaign

The National Anti Vivisection Campaign (NAVC) is disappointed that the Bioethics Council has recommended xenotransplantation be allowed to go ahead in their report on "The cultural, ethical and spiritual aspects of animal-to-human transplantation". NAVC opposes xenotransplantation, and all vivisection, on both ethical and scientific grounds.

"Apart from the ethics of using animals in any way we please, xenotransplantation is an expensive, inefficient way of treating human disease, and because of the inherent differences between animals and humans, we have no idea whether it will work" says NAVC spokesperson Dr. Michael Morris. "It is also diverting funds away from more pressing health needs such as public health and prevention." NAVC does however identify some positive features to the Bioethics Council report.

"We have been continually emphasising the way in which animal ethics committees are stacked in favour of researchers, are not accountable to the public, and do not consider non-animal alternatives when approving vivisection experiments", says Morris. "It is therefore pleasing that our concerns are being taken seriously and the Bioethics Council has resolved to 'draw this issue to the attention of the minister responsible for animal ethics committees' "

The NAVC also support the recommendation that all primates be given the same protection under the Animal Welfare Act currently enjoyed by the great apes. "It is therefore even more ironic that the Bioethics Council are allowing xenotransplantation experiments to go ahead", says Morris. "Trials on xenotransplants, especially organ transplants are often conducted on primates overseas, and these painful experiments will be encouraged to continue".

ENDS

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