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Government Ensures Animals Will Die to Test Legal Highs

Government Ensures Animals Will Die to Test Legal Highs

The select committee report on the Psychoactive Substances Bill released today confirms that animals will be used for the safety testing. After ruling that animal testing was outside the scope of the Psychoactive Substances Bill and refusing to consider any submissions on the issue the health select committee has now suggested an amendment on how animals will be used in the testing.

“The Bill now has a clause in it specifically addressing how the government will require the use of animals in the testing to be governed. The new clause contains no new protections for animals to be excluded from the testing that aren’t in the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and we know how meaningless token phrases about ‘welfare’ and ‘suitable alternatives’ are in that Act. All we can know for sure now is that animals will be used and that is appalling” said New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society spokesperson Stephen Manson.

“By refusing to read the submissions the government has ignored the advice of many international toxicology experts on the use of animals for safety testing, both in our submission and provided independently. The expert advice NZAVS submitted showed animal tests are based on poor science, are inaccurate and that a multitude of modern non-animal tests that give reliable results are available. These non-animal tests are approved by the OECD and are in use right now overseas for toxicology testing.

“Although the Bill now addresses animal testing there is still nothing excluding the use of the LD50 test in it. Peter Dunne ruled its use out last year in statements reacting to the public outcry over the animal testing he was implementing. He has not followed this through, has reneged on these assurances and is now in no position to back them up.

“The Bill now mentions the use of animals in detail but the select committee still refused to listen to the view of the majority of New Zealanders from across the political spectrum, which is that they want no animal testing of these drugs. They ignored the submissions and they are ignoring what the public wants.

“Our campaign to stop animal testing of recreational drugs will not end until no animal testing of them can occur. NZAVS has worked and lobbied on this for over nine months now. This won’t end with the enshrining of animal testing of recreational drugs into law as the Bill as it stands now will do. For this Bill to result in a law that doesn’t cause harm we need the amendment proposed by Mojo Mathers to pass.


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