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SAFE Slams Lab Animal Cruelty

SAFE Slams Lab Animal Cruelty

On World Day for Laboratory Animals (24 April) animal advocacy group SAFE has slammed the Government for failing to reduce the number of animals being used in experiments.

Despite assurances and an obligation under the Animal Welfare Act to reduce animal experiments the government has failed and little has changed, says Mandy Carter, SAFE’s campaign manager.

“In the last decade 2,904,970 animals, including cows, dogs, cats, mice and rats, have been used for teaching, testing and research in New Zealand. On average about 42% of the animals die or are euthanised each year. Most of the experiments are profit-making ventures and animals are being abused just so someone can make money.”

According to Government figures, the majority of animal testing in New Zealand is for agriculture, usually on cows and sheep, with fewer than 10 per cent for medical (drug) testing.

In 2012, (the latest report released), it was also revealed that a staggering 16,767 animals were subjected to the two severest impact grades of animal testing where they will have undergone procedures that cause extreme pain and distress. Most were mice, rats and fish, with possums, cats, cows, sheep and rabbits also suffering in cruel experiments.

“Many highly respected scientists and experts believe that animal testing is cruel and scientifically outdated. It is time to show that New Zealand can be amongst world leaders who are taking note of modern and humane testing methods,” says Ms Carter.

The news that animal testing is not reducing follows on from the announcement last year that the Government would allow testing on dogs and rats for the purposes of legal highs, despite massive public outcry.

SAFE is working towards a ban on cosmetics testing on animals. Animal testing for cosmetics products and ingredients has been banned in the EU, as well as in Israel and India, with other countries considering similar moves in what is becoming a global trend towards cruelty-free beauty products.

Ms Carter says, “We’re lagging behind the times. New Zealand needs to take a firm stand, and at the very least make it illegal to perform cosmetics testing on animals.”

World Day for Laboratory Animals is a day to remember the millions of animals who suffer and are killed.
The public can take action on cosmetics testing by visiting animalwelfare.org.nz

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