What happened in the past:
Back in September 2012, the NZ Government tried to introduce legislation that would have resulted in recreational drugs being tested on animals. This included conducting cruel and invalid tests like the LD50 test on rodents and dogs.
What is happening now:
Nearly 5 years on and we are getting ready to take action once again to protect animals from invalid and cruel psychoactive drug tests!
The government has recently released a report that mentions the possibility of removing the ban on testing party pills on animals.
The Act that passed back in 2013, banning the testing of psychoactive substance on animals, included a clause that it must be reviewed within five years. The review conducted by the Ministry of Health found that the Act has failed, and blamed part of that failure on the absence of using animals in safety testing.
A review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 by the Ministry of Health has found that “The Psychoactive Substances Act has not achieved its purpose of protecting health and minimising harm”.
According to the review, the failure is because of three main reasons:
1. “Animal testing provisions limit the ability to prove that products are low risk and can therefore be approved.”
2. “The continued supply and use of unregulated products has arguably made monitoring and management of associated risks more difficult.”
3. “Offences and penalties may be disproportionate to the harm posed by the increasing availability of high-risk products.”
The review also goes on to state that “the Psychoactive Substances Act cannot work as intended unless the principle that animals must not be used in trials for the purposes of assessing whether a psychoactive product should be approved is removed.”
The report has raised the possibility of testing on animals, and we are calling on the government to make it 100% clear that will never happen and guarantee they won't test party pills on animals.
We need to stop this outrageous idea before it goes any further. We will ensure that even the slight murmur of testing party pills on innocent animals in NZ is met with public outrage and resistance!
Why we need to ensure the ban isn't removed:
Animal models are not scientifically viable methods for predicting human outcomes – this has already been proven. Testing psychoactive drugs on dogs and rats will only show us how these animals reacted to the drugs and will give us no reliable evidence on how humans will react.
Other safety test methods exist, and, in the past, we sent the Government many examples of non-animal-based test methods that could be used to measure the safety of psychoactive substances. You can see these options here.
The most important point to note is that no amount of testing (animal, human, or otherwise) is going to make these drugs safe, so the best way to approach it is through other methods.
We fully support the government’s desire to minimise harm to humans, but they cannot do that by testing these drugs on animals!
How to help:
We are calling on our Government to keep the focus on pursuing other means of reducing drug harm.
Help ensure the ban on testing psychoactive substances on animals in NZ stays firmly in place by sending a message to our Prime Minister and Minister of Health asking them to commit to keeping party pills away from animals!
Read the full review of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 by the Ministry of Health here.