What we do & Why

What we do & Why

Who we are:

The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society is New Zealand's primary non-profit organisation defending animals used in science. 


Our mission:

To end animal experimentation and the harmful use of animals for research, testing and teaching in Aotearoa - for animals, people and science.


What we do:

NZAVS advocates for scientifically viable and humane research, testing and teaching methods; lobbies for legislative and systemic changes; collaborates with and encourages stakeholders to create positive changes and educates to create cultural and societal change.


Our Core Beliefs:

  • Animals aren’t commodities. It’s morally wrong to exploit animals.


  • Animals are sentient and feel pain. This is also recognised in NZ law.2


  • The intent/motivation should always be not to cause harm to animals or people. If a humane and scientifically valid research, testing or teaching method doesn’t yet exist, work should be done to develop one rather than continuing to use a fundamentally flawed or cruel method. The first questions that should always be asked are: How can we find the answer/solution to this problem that is species-specific, scientifically viable and does not harm anyone? And what would we do if it was regarding a human?


  • Due to the anatomical, metabolic, genetic, physiological, psychological and other differences that exist between species, no species can be an accurate model for another. Therefore, animals can’t predict the human response to drugs and disease. For something to have predictive value in science it needs to predict the correct outcome around 90-95% of the time but instead, the use of animals to try and model the human response to drugs and disease fails over 95% of the time!  NZAVS agrees with the scientific principles expressed in Trans-Species Modelling Theory (TSMT)1 which explains why differences in anatomy, metabolism, and physiology invalidate the use of animals to predict human response to drugs and disease. 


  • NZAVS only engages in and endorses non-violent tactics and strategies to end animal experimentation. The animal experimentation industry is complex and has multiple factors contributing to its existence. Our focus is on using fact-based campaigns to address aspects of that industry to create a better world for both humans and animals. 
Photo credit: Otago Daily Times.


  1. http://www.afma-curedisease.org/tsmt.aspx  
  2. New Zealand Government, Animal Welfare Amendment Act (No. 2) 2015, Part 1, Section 4, http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2015/0049/latest/whole.html?search=sw_096be8ed813b1 0c7_sentient_25_se&p=1#DLM6165701 .