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National Party Condemns Animals to Die For Legal Highs

National Party Condemns Animals to Die For Legal Highs

Parliament voted on Tuesday evening on an amendment to the Psychoactive Substances Bill that would stop the use of animal testing. If it had passed no data from animal tests could be used to seek approvals to sell recreational drugs. The amendment put forward by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers was supported by Labour, New Zealand First, ACT and Mana Party. It failed to pass as National and independent MPs Brendan Horan and Peter Dunne voted against it and the Maori Party abstained.

“We applaud the stand made by the political parties that supported stopping animal tests happening. It was very close to passing and they have shown they are prepared, and able, to stand up for what is right” said New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society spokesperson Stephen Manson. “They tried to ensure no animals would be used to justify the sale of party drugs but National blocked them and insisted animal testing be allowed. This will be remembered as a day of shame for the National Party and Peter Dunne.

“Let’s make this clear - the Bill stops these drugs been sold without approval, the testing will be done to get the drugs back on sale. The National Party has sent a clear message to the New Zealand people today – they think killing animals is an acceptable price to allow the sale of party pills. This will not be forgotten at election time.

“There is no need for any animal testing, the National Party is insisting on it after ignoring information from experts here and abroad. They only listened to one small hand-picked committee for expert advice. At least one member of that committee had an integral part in proposing animal testing in early 2012 when the idea was first mooted. Another member, Bob Kerridge, quit when the discussion turned away from how to avoid animal testing and moved to what animal tests should be done.

“Animal tests are being phased out all around the world. The United States is ending the use of animal tests for toxicology testing as they are unreliable, the EU and India have just banned all animal testing of cosmetics and the UK Home Office has said they won’t allow any animal testing of recreational drugs when a similar law is passed there. Yet the New Zealand government is flying in the face of this and starting a new testing regime using animal tests.

“We had the chance to set up a best practice testing regime that could be used as a model internationally. Instead we have set one up that will be rejected by overseas regulators for its use of unnecessary animal tests. The government has dropped the ball in a big way.”

ENDS

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