The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), is a no
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), is a non-profit organisation which actively campaigns to abolish animal testing in NZ.
We advocate scientifically-valid, non-animal-based methods of research, testing and teaching at the same time as spreading awareness on animal experimentation and its lack of scientific value to humans.
NZAVS was established in 1978 by Bette Overell and we are the only organisation in New Zealand fighting solely for the total abolition of vivisection.
Over the past four decades, we have led and participated in many different anti-vivisection campaigns. We were a driving force behind the campaign to prevent legal highs being tested on animals, we were a part of the Be Cruelty-Free campaign that successfully banned testing cosmetics on animals in New Zealand, we removed the requirement for the Draize test in New Zealand law and so much more!
abolish animal testing in NZ.
We advocate scientifically-valid, non-animal-based me
thods of research, testing and teaching at
the same time as spreading awareness on animal experime
ntation and its lack of scientific
value to humans.
NZAVS was established in 1978 by Bette Overell. We are t
he only organisation in New Zealand
fighting solely for the total abolition of vivisectio
Over the past four decades, we have led and participate
d in many different anti-vivisection
campaigns. We drove the campaign to prevent legal hig
hs being tested on animals, were a part
of the Be Cruelty-Free campaign that successfully banned
testing cosmetics on animals in New
Zealand, removed the requirement for the Draize test i
n New Zealand law and so much New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), is a non-profit organisation which actively campaigns to abolish animal testing
Why we work to end animal experimentation:
The ethical objections to vivisection are obvious. Therefore, we concentrate on scientific anti-vivisectionism. That is, due to the physical and other differences between species no species can be an accurate model for another. We are passionate about relevant and reliable science as well as the future of human health.
Read about the scientific reasons to be against vivisection here
Since the best and most relevant science to help humans is, of course, human-based we advocate human-based research as the best method to helping find cures and treatments for humans as well as testing the safety of products and substances for humans.
Our core principles:
· Extrapolation of research data obtained from animal experimentation to humans is ineffective, inconclusive and often dangerous
· There are scientifically reliable and effective ways to conduct research, testing and teaching that don't involve the use of animals
· Animal-based research, testing and teaching represent cruel and unethical treatments of other sentient beings
Our vision & what we do:
We want to create a world where:
· Millions of animals are no longer subject to painful, cruel and scientifically invalid experiments
· Society no longer believes the fallacy that animal experimentation is a necessary evil, no longer gives social license for vivisection and knows that using animal models to predict the human response is bad science
· Animal models are replaced by relevant, applicable and humane research, testing and teaching methods
· Humans are no longer at risk of adverse side effects from drugs and medicines that weren’t predicted by animals, and instead can be confident knowing that their treatments have been safely and thoroughly tested through methodologies that are directly relevant to humans
· Useful medicines and treatments for humans are developed quickly using fewer resources as they are fundamentally based on the right species - humans
· The false hope animal experimentation gives human patients suffering from life-threatening diseases will no longer exist, and people rely on real scientific methods for medical advancements.
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society works to:
- Educate the public and spread awareness on the many scientific issues involved in vivisection. We work hard to shift society's perception and attitude towards animal testing and dismantle the misconception that animal-based research is necessary to save human lives
- Lead various campaigns to eliminate animal experimentation
- Promote and encourage legislative change to abolish vivisection in New Zealand
- Advocate relevant and applicable non-animal-based methods for research, testing and teaching.
We are a small dedicated team who relies heavily on our volunteers and supporters to help with our work in ending animal experimentation in NZ.
NZAVS is made up of the following people:
Note: We don't have space for an individual profile for all of our amazing volunteers but they are the backbone of NZAVS and are where all of our power to make positive change comes from!
NZAVS Executive Director
Tara Jackson is the Executive Director of NZAVS and she has worked for the society for over three years now. She has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and has a strong passion for animal rights, human rights and environmental protection. The combination of her scientific background, empathy for animals and a strong dislike for injustice make her a driven and determined advocate for progressive, reliable and humane research, testing and teaching methods.
She has experience working with other NGOs, campaigning and fundraising. Tara has previously worked for and been involved with organisations such as Greenpeace, WSPA, the SPCA and SAFE. Tara worked as the Campaign Manager for NZAVS for a year and a half before taking on the role as Executive Director.
NZAVS Campaign Manager
Niki qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2014 and worked in clinic, until becoming the NZAVS Campaign Manager in 2018.
She has primarily worked with companion animals as a surgical veterinary nurse. She has also been involved with equine dental nursing and emergency wildlife nursing.
Niki is very passionate about equality of animals and humans alike. Her strong interest in science has led her first to the veterinary industry, and now on to promoting scientifically sound research, testing and teaching methods.
As well as being the Campaign Manager, Niki also oversees all the NZAVS volunteers and events.
NZAVS Funding and Engagement Manager
Annelies has a Masters in Psychology and has been a vegan activist since 2010. She joined team NZAVS to extend the cruelty-free paradigm to include animals in science.
Having a young daughter also makes her a strong believer we cannot normalise eliciting pain to other sentient beings by condoning dissection at schools, but instead, using ethical computer simulations or models.
She has worked in the not-for-profit sector as a fundraiser since 2010, including a few years for animal rights organisation SAFE.
Annelies’ drive is to scale empathy and inspire people to keep connecting with the world around them with their hearts.
NZAVS Committee Member
Rowan has a BSc in zoology and an MA in sociology. He is a vegan with a long history of animal and human rights activism. His first protest against vivisection was refusing to experiment on a worm in a zoology lab.
While still a teenager, he co-founded the whale conservation and rescue organisation, Project Jonah, which led successful campaigns to end whale product imports, develop a Marine Mammals Protection Act, and ban whaling in NZ waters.
He later co-founded the NZ branch of Peter Singer's Great Ape Project, which led to NZ being the first country in the world to ban all experiments on great apes that are not in the ape's own interests.
Rowan has worked in various research and policy roles, from survey research with Statistics NZ and the Otago School of Medicine to his current position as a senior policy analyst in the Ministry for the Environment.
NZAVS Committee Member
B.Mus (Hon), LRSM, ATCL, Dip. Secondary Teaching
Vivienne Sands has been a member of NZAVS since the mid-80's, and a member of the Working Committee since 2012. She is a vegan, and promotes animal and human health maintenance through natural therapies.
She worked as a volunteer on stalls and protest demos and letter writing campaigns with the late Christchurch Co-ordinator Natalie Taylor in the 80's and early 90's. She attended the presentation of the 2nd parliamentary petition for abolition of vivisection in NZ organised by Bette Overell, founder of NZAVS.
While living in Christchurch, Vivienne ran a successful series of interviews on the Christchurch community radio station Plains Radio exposing the scientific fraud of vivisection and the need for its abolition.
Since moving to Taupo in 1992, she has worked on raising public awareness through education.
NZAVS Committee Member
Krysta first became involved with NZAVS in 2014 after a collaboration campaign against the Psychoactive Substances Act, which allowed psychoactive substances to be tested on animals in New Zealand. After a successful campaign Krysta became an active volunteer organizing fundraising and public outreach for a couple of years until she became a committee member in 2015.
When Krysta joined the committee she brought with her knowledge and experience in finance and marketing as well as a passion for campaigning.
Olivia Doyle Franklin
Olivia Doyle-Franklin first heard about NZVAS when she came across our stall at the Christchurch Go Green Expo. She began volunteering when she learnt about our Stop the Otago Animal Lab Campaign and attended the second protest in Dunedin. Recently Olivia has begun working as the new NZAVS intern managing educational resources through compiling information on the conscientious objection policies of Universities, high schools and other educational institutions throughout New Zealand. Olivia is currently in her final year at the University of Canterbury studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology, minoring in Political Science and Anthropology.
Our Volunteer Coordinators
NZAVS has the following Volunteer Coordinators around New Zealand:
Archie & Monty
These are our ex-lab rats who were rescued in 2015. They lived at our national office in Christchurch where we looked after them and gave them a happy life free from cruel and unnecessary tests.
Read more on their story here