Media Release: NZ Falling Behind Australia on Animal-Free Science

Media Release: NZ Falling Behind Australia on Animal-Free Science

The New South Wales government of Australia has just launched a $7 million AUD (7.6NZD) fund targeting animals used in science.1 $4.5 million will be directed towards replacing and reducing the use of animals in science, while the remaining $2.5 million will go towards existing animals needing to be rehomed.

The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), a New Zealand charity that advocates for animals used in science, has been campaigning for New Zealand to 'catch up'. NZAVS has delivered a petition to Parliament and will have their 'case for support' heard later this month (30/03/23) at the Primary Production Committee.

NZAVS Executive Director, Tara Jackson explains: “For two years now, we have been working closely with members of the science, research industry and government to create a robust roadmap in Aotearoa for replacing animals used in science. This roadmap is not only feasible but is now proven with the NSW govt announcement. But there’s still time to catch up and aim higher, especially when the New Zealand government sees itself as a world leader in animal welfare.”

“The $7 million granted by the NSW government is a 'starter' small figure by research standards as we spend billions on science,2 in Aotearoa alone, and so we would be looking for similar and/or more when we front up, on behalf of our thousands of supporters, to the Primary Production Committee later this month. Now is the time to start focusing money on upgrading our science to the superior methods of the 21st century rather than outdated and unreliable3 animal models.”

"We also know that this same focus is wanted by the science and research industry because NZAVS works collaboratively with the industry to entrench long-term sustainable change. Together, we want to achieve better health outcomes for the people of Aotearoa via a future that involves using advanced technologies instead of using archaic models trying to translate results from animals to humans."

Over and above this feasible funding, NZAVS will be calling on the New Zealand Government to:

Commit to phasing out the use of animals for science as technology permits and commit to phasing out the requirements in NZ legislation for animal testing (the use of animals for testing veterinary medicines, human medicines, human medical devices, and hazardous substances).

Again, these requests are feasible as they have been proven by other countries worldwide.4

Ms Jackson concludes: "For New Zealand to maintain its world-leading credentials on animal welfare, we hope the every-enduring, healthy competition between Australia and New Zealand spurs the honourable members of the Primary Production Committee into action when we meet them face to face at the end of the month. Our people and our animals will be better off if New Zealand hits back and knocks a future funding figure out of the park.".

The NZAVS Striking at the Source Petition can be found here.