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'Lab animals in NZ waiting for MPs to decide their fate'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Every year thousands of animals are killed after being used for experiments in New Zealand. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), and Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), have teamed up to ask the government to create a mandatory retirement policy for ex-lab animals, to help encourage the rehoming of ex-lab animals and prevent unnecessary euthanasia.

"There is currently no legislative incentive to encourage facilities and individuals using animals for research, testing or teaching to rehome animals instead of euthanising them. These facilities and people should have to at least try and rehome ex-lab animals before any other option is considered. This is exactly what we and thousands of other Kiwis are asking for," said NZAVS Executive Director, Tara Jackson.

A petition asking that a mandatory retirement policy be established for ex-lab animals in NZ, that was over 16,000 signatures strong was handed in to the government last year. Now it is at the select committee stage and could be decided upon any day now by the Primary Production Select Committee.

"While NZAVS are opposed to animal experimentation and we actively campaign to stop this from continuing, there is no reason for the animals who we can’t save from being used in the first place, to never have a life outside of the laboratory. The MPs deciding on our petition could make such a huge impact for animals all over NZ," added Miss Jackson.

"We don’t want to create a bigger job for already over run sanctuaries, we instead only want the animals to go to willing and able rescue and rehabilitation centers such as HUHA. HUHA would happily be the first point of contact for all facilities in NZ who have ex-lab animals in need of a home. We have extensive experience working with institutionalised animals," said HUHA Director, Carolyn Press-McKenzie.

Similar laws encouraging the rehoming of ex-lab animals already exist in Australia and in several states in the USA.

"While the change we are asking for is small, it would have a huge impact and would save thousands of animals lives in New Zealand. We should be aiming to be world leaders in animal welfare, not playing catch up to other, more progressive countries. We are hoping that the MPs in the Primary Production Select Committee make the right decision and let animals live, out of the lab," added NZAVS Executive Director, Tara Jackson.

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