We are proudly supporting SAFE's petition calling for the appointment of a Commissioner for Animals in Aotearoa New Zealand.
A properly implemented Commissioner for Animals would mean so much for animals suffering in science. There are so many ways we could improve our science and remove animals, but we need leadership from the public sector. A commissioner could provide that leadership.
The way we treat other animals says something about us as human beings. The proper implementation of a role like this would be the first time animals had a truly independent voice in government. No longer would the fates of animals be at the whim of farmers and other special interests.
In practical terms, what this would mean for animals is there would be someone in government tasked with the sole duty of improving life for animals in Aotearoa. They would be able to advocate behind the scenes – and sometimes even in the public eye – for helping animals. This constant pressure from the inside of government would help propel the campaigns of advocacy organisations like us forward.
For animals in science, the potential is huge. As we know, the way we use animals in science is not ideal for the animals or for science. In many ways the scientific industry is simply stuck in the past, being slow to embrace new technologies and new ways of thinking. A Commission for the Animals would serve to propel these along.
A key example is the Forced Swim Test. Currently, when we campaign on the Forced Swim Test, the people making decisions are overseen by the Ministry for Primary Industries (farmers). It was very hard to get them to make this campaign a priority. But if we had a Commissioner for Animals, their priority would always be doing something for animals.
In many cases, the solutions for stopping animal abuse already exist. We just need the will to do it. We know the public will is there – not only do we get a huge amount of support from you, but when public polling is performed, the public is always in favour of protecting animals. What we need is to get a voice in government to help magnify the voice of the public.
That’s why we need a Commission for Animals, and that’s why NZAVS will be a part of this campaign. Take action and sign the petition now!