Strong laws and enforcement are critical for securing change for animals.
Transparency will progress the public conversation, but we need to put pressure on the industry via strengthening the law.
Animal Ethics Committees often end up prioritising the interests of industry over the animals they are there to protect. They often lack expertise in non-animal-based methods, so are not qualified to investigate whether such methods would suit the research being conducted.
We would like to improve the rules around these committees, so they are better suited to representing the interests of the animals involved. Animal Ethics Committees shouldn't include people who have a financial interest in animal-based-research. Members should also have to know more about non-animal-based methods, recieve ongoing training on this matter and, they should have to actively encourage the use of these methods.
We would also like to see greater independence for oversight of animals in science. It should not be overseen by agricultural or industry interests. An animal welfare body is needed to give animals a chance.
What we’re asking for:
- An independent body for animal welfare, such as a Crown entity or commission.
- A Minister for Animals separate from the Minister for Agriculture.
- A comprehensive review of the efficacy of the animal model and the potential viability of non-animal-based methods as replacements.
- Involvement of the public and advocacy groups like NZAVS in decision-making.
- Require all Animal Ethics Committees to have an expert on non-animal-based methods.
- Require all Animal Ethics Committees to check for non-animal-based methods that may be able to replace animals when considering an application.
- Establish and maintain a database of non-animal-based methods, to aid Animal Ethics Committees.
- Restructure Animal Ethics Committees to minimise conflicts of interest. Scientists involved should not have a financial interest in animal-based-research – whether via employment or ownership of a company.
- Sufficient funding to ensure these objectives are met.