Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Licence needed for work use Learn More

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Christmas Comes Early For Animals Used For Science - Leading Crown Research Institute Prohibits The Use Of Cruel Test

In a groundbreaking move for ethical research, a prominent crown research institute in Aotearoa, AgResearch has become the first institution in the country to prohibit the use of the Forced Swim Test.

This momentous decision marks a significant step forward in pursuing ethical scientific practices and effectively rules out the practice by the many organisations that require research approvals from AgResearch’s Animal Ethics Committee.

The Forced Swim Test is an animal test that involves small animals, such as rats or mice, being made to swim in an inescapable beaker of water to measure their response to the threat of drowning. Some researchers use the test to try and mimic depression or hopelessness in humans. The Forced Swim Test has been heavily scrutinised internationally for its lack of validity.

AgResearch has just updated its Code of Ethical Conduct, a legally binding document that sets out how its Animal Ethics Committee can approve the use of animals for research, testing and teaching purposes. This now states that the AgResearch Animal Ethics Committee will "not consider an application that includes the Porsolt Swim Test."

NZAVS, a charity that works to end animal experimentation in Aotearoa, has been campaigning against the use of the Forced Swim Test in NZ for several years now. They are calling this announcement a result of good leadership.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"We know that members of the animal science and research community in NZ are aware of the ethical and scientific issues with the Forced Swim Test, but it’s rare to see a public commitment like this. We applaud AgResearch for showing such progressive leadership in the research sector," says Tara Jackson, NZAVS Executive Director.

"This step forward by AgResearch is huge and far-reaching as their animal ethics committee parents over 30% of all institutes using animals for research, testing and teaching in NZ. This means that it is now impossible for around a third of all institutes in Aotearoa to use the Forced Swim Test," added Miss Jackson.

The Forced Swim Test has long been a subject of ethical concern and scrutiny. AgResearch recognises the importance of advancing scientific knowledge while upholding the principles of compassion and ethical treatment of animals. This decision reflects the institute's commitment to fostering a research environment that prioritises scientific progress and ethical responsibility.

Jim Webster, AgResearch Animal Ethics Office Leader, expressed enthusiasm for the institute's pioneering stance, stating, "Today, AgResearch and its Animal Ethics Committee has taken a significant step towards aligning research practices with our collective commitment to ethical treatment of animals. Prohibiting the use of the Forced Swim Test not only underscores our dedication to high scientific standards but also showcases our responsibility to the well-being of all living beings involved in our research endeavours."

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy


It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is... Then how come New Zealand has enjoyed a double AA+ credit rating from the international rating agencies for so long? If we have truly been in the thrall of incompetent tax, spend and borrow extremists for the past six years, how come our net government debt burden is only in the middling average of OECD countries, and how come our government debt-to-GDP ratio – however you measure it – is less than half the average for the Asia-Pacific region?..
More


 
 


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Budget Will Be Delivered On 30 May

Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence, and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, says Nicola Willis... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.