Political Parties 2020

Political Parties 2020


Before voting in the next election, we want to make sure that our supporters and the wider public know how future MPs and leaders of Aotearoa, New Zealand feel about animal experimentation, an issue that is close to all of our hearts!

It's important that our leaders care about this issue and that they are willing to take action for animals and help end their suffering in outdated and cruel tests. 

We sent a short questionnaire to the main political parties to find out their position on this important issue. You can find a summary of their positions along with their more detailed responses below. 

Summary: 

 

More information:

We asked the main political parties eight questions on their views and policies around the use of animals in science — the table above provides a summary of the main six questions we asked. Below you can access all eight questions and the responses we received from political parties. 

1. Does your party have a policy on the use of animals for research, testing and teaching purposes? 

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Yes – the Green Party is opposed to animal testing except in very limited circumstances. The full Animal Welfare policy can be found here.

 

New Zealand Labour Party

Labour does not have a specific policy on the use of animals for research. However, we have always placed a real focus on animal welfare, and we will continue to act in a manner that reflects animal welfare as a key consideration in how we guide policy. While in government, we’ve passed Animal Welfare Regulations to strengthen our system and to allow better enforcement of low to medium animal welfare offending. In Budget 2020 we allocated over $5 million for critical resources to identify and manage animal welfare issues. And, we’ve put in place extensive new protections to look after our native Māui and Hector’s dolphins. This is an area that Labour will continue to build on.

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

 

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

We should aim to reduce the use of animals where we can, but they are still needed currently in some circumstances. There’s no need to use them for cosmetics or household products and their use in teaching could be drastically reduced- there are amazing visualisation tools we could use instead. Technology for testing is improving all the time, and we should absolutely be encouraging companies to uptake them faster. For example, cell lines can be used in place of live animals for a broad range of testing. We need to ensure that our regulations are keeping up and can accept these sorts of tests instead of insisting on animal tests, where appropriate.

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes – they want to ban the Forced Swim Test immediately and work towards New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to ban all testing on animals by 1 January 2022. The full Animal Welfare policy can be found here

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.

2. Does your party support a ban on the Forced Swim Test in NZ?

Find out more about this test here.

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Yes – Gareth Hughes (Animal Welfare Spokesperson) is on record saying the test is ‘unjust, unnecessary and scientifically unhelpful’.

 

New Zealand Labour Party

We do not support a ban if the testing has significant benefits. However, it’s our understanding that this practice is already being phased out globally. 

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

Yes: We have no policy on this but would look at the research if the issue came up. 

 

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes.

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.


3. Does your party support a ban on the importation and sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals?

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

The Green Party supports labelling of consumer products tested on animals, so consumers would be able to make an informed choice. We consider this would be the first step to ultimately eliminating animal suffering through testing.

 

New Zealand Labour Party

Labour’s focus right now is on responding, recovering and rebuilding following COVID-19 however we are open to considering this in future.

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

No: This should be up to consumers to decide, with proper information. 

 

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes.

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.


4. Does your party support the use of non-animal-based scientific methods being mandatory, where they exist & are validated?

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Yes. The Green Party would require non-animal methods of experimentation and testing to be used wherever they exist.

 

New Zealand Labour Party

Labour encourages the use of non-animal-based scientific methods, where practicable and reliable. 

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

Yes.

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes.

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.

5. Does your party support the prioritisation of funding for new technologies that do not use animals?

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Yes. The Green Party supports the development of non-animal methods for research, testing and teaching.

 

New Zealand Labour Party

Labour supports the development of non-animal methods for research, testing and teaching. We’re focused on enabling the economic settings required for R&D to thrive, for example, have introduced R&D tax credits.  

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

Yes.

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes.

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.

6. Does your party support increased openness of the use of animals in science?

For example, the mandatory filming of manipulations for research, testing and teaching purposes that involve animals.

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Broadly speaking, yes. One example in Green Party policy is that we would require all experiments involving animals to be reported through NAWAC on an annual basis, and for this information to be publicly available.

New Zealand Labour Party

Labour supports an increased openness of the use of animals in science. We also acknowledge that the current restrictions on animals in science are tight and monitored closely.  

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

Yes: We have no policy on this but would look at the research if the issue came up. 

 

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes.

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.

7. Does your party support establishing an animal welfare body independent of MPI to oversee the use of animals in New Zealand?

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Yes. Green Party policy is to establish champions for animals – a Minister for Animal Welfare, and a Commissioner for Animals. We were pleased to see the current Government appoint an Associate Minister for animal welfare and disappointed when this position ceased.

New Zealand Labour Party

Labour does not support an independent body at this time. We believe that the current measures in place are adequate and that MPI – including the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and separate ethics committee – are well placed to oversee animal welfare in New Zealand.

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

Yes: MPI has a clear conflict of interest on this issue so a separate body makes sense. 

 

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Yes.

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.

8. Do you have any further comments on this issue?

Political party

Response

The Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

The Green Party is proud of its historic advocacy for animal welfare in Parliament – Gareth Hughes, and a host of previous Green MPs, have consistently ensured that animal welfare issues are on the agenda and strongly pushed for improvements. We think that Aotearoa could lead the world with an animal welfare regime that truly recognises the rights and intrinsic value of animals – and we’re disappointed that consecutive Governments have not addressed outstanding issues. 

New Zealand Labour Party

No.

ACT New Zealand

No response.

New Zealand First Party

No response.

The Opportunities Party (TOP)

No.

 

The New Zealand National Party

No response.

Māori Party

No response.

Sustainable New Zealand Party

Our policy is to appoint an independent Commissioner for Animals as an advocate for the welfare of all animals, including farm, companion and wild animals. 

NZ Outdoors Party

No response.

Further reading 


READ MORE