Each year, approximately 300,000 animals are used for science in New Zealand and many of these animals are used in harmful ways.
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) is a charity that exists to change this and end all animal experimentation.
“Animal testing and experimentation continue because there are huge barriers in place that are preventing the replacement of animals in science wherever possible. These include outdated laws, a lack of Government leadership and the absence of funding for animal-free science. To fast-track the elimination of these barriers, an unexpected collaboration has been formed and I’ve had the honour of having a front-row seat to this world first,” said NZAVS Executive Director, Tara Jackson.
Recently, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and members of the animal science and research industry have made global history by collaborating to ‘present a case for scientific change’ to MPs at Parliament in New Zealand.
Such a unified approach between an animal rights organisation and members of the animal science and research industry working together to advance science outcomes is unheard of, both here and internationally, until now.
The team of speakers included:
- Tara Jackson – NZAVS Executive Director
- Dr Jodi Salinsky – Executive Committee Member of the Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association (ANZLAA)
- Dr Cindy Buckmaster – Ex-president of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)
Together, they asked the New Zealand Government to make the following crucial changes:
- Allocate funding towards the use and development of animal-free methods.
- Commit to phasing out the requirements for animal testing in NZ law.
- Commit to phasing out the use of animals for science as technology permits.
NZAVS Executive Director explains further:
“We can’t find evidence of even $1 worth of government funding being spent explicitly on replacing the use of animals for science. Other countries invest millions into this but, NZ has nothing.”
“We still have requirements for animal testing in NZ law which are holding up progress as they leave no room for validated animal-free methods to be used.”
“A commitment to phasing out the use of animals for science as technology permits would provide the scientific community with a unified end goal. Without one, how do we know where we are heading?”
Not only were these requests backed by more than 20,000 supporters of NZAVS but more than 10 organisations from the animal science and research community in NZ* shared a genuine desire to see progress in these key areas.
These organisations included heavy hitters such as:
- Universities NZ (representing all universities in NZ)
- The Cawthron Institute (New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation)
- Agresearch (whose animal ethics committee oversees approximately a third of all institutes using animals for research, testing and teaching in NZ)
- The Australian & New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching.
- The Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association.
“This is ground-breaking. There is a genuine shared desire for progress in three key areas relating to the use of animals for science by thousands of Kiwis, NZAVS and key members of the animal science and research community. All that’s missing is leadership from the NZ Government.”
“Now it’s in the hands of the NZ Government. We’ve presented the strongest case possible but ultimately, it’s up to them to decide if these crucial changes will be made,” NZAVS Executive Director.
Learn more and get the latest updates about the NZAVS Striking at the Source campaign here.