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Call to Protect Cats and Dogs from Animal Research

Call to Protect Cats and Dogs from Animal Research

Animal advocacy group SAFE will today present a 12,039-signature petition calling on the Government to ban experiments on companion animals. SAFE says the petition calls for the prohibition of the use of cats and dogs for the purpose of animal experimentation.

SAFE’s petition was initiated after revelations that large numbers of beagles were bred for research purposes by the Valley Animal Research Centre (VARC), one of the largest suppliers of companion animals for laboratory testing in the southern hemisphere. VARC operates as a contract facility that provides animal experimentation services to national and international clients. A SAFE investigation revealed that VARC holds dozens of beagles in inadequate, barren kennels.

”We believe the beagles are used for toxicity testing and some are killed so that their tissue can be examined,” says SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek.

The presentation of the petition coincides with world-wide activities commemorating World Day for Laboratory Animals on 24 April. In New Zealand over 300,000 animals are used in animal research each year. While SAFE remains opposed to all animal research, the petition focuses specifically on the 1,500 cats and dogs used annually.

“Cats and dogs have a special place in New Zealand society as valued companion animals and most New Zealanders would be horrified to find out that hundreds of cats and dogs are confined in small cages and subjected to potentially cruel and lethal experiments in the nation’s laboratories,” says Mr Kriek.

The petition will be handed to Green MP Sue Kedgley at 1.15pm today at Parliament grounds.

Ms Kedgley says she strongly supports the petition and wants to remove the secrecy surrounding animal experimentation.

ENDS

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