May 6, 2014
New Zealand Bans Animal Tests for "Legal High" Drugs
News just in: Thanks to an 18-month campaign by our friends at the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society, HUHA and SAFE, along with countless other Kiwi campaigners, potentially thousands of dogs, rabbits and other animals will be spared cruel poisoning tests for controversial "legal high" drugs.
When the Psychoactive Substances Bill become law in New Zealand, it looked set to condemn animals to a battery of tests to safety-assess recreational drugs. HSI Director of Research and Toxicology Troy Seidle provided expert scientific expertise to New Zealand campaigners to show that these tests weren’t just cruel but also unnecessary, as it is possible to evaluate safety using advanced non-animal methods instead.
HSI also served on the Psychoactive Substances Expert Advisory Committee that reported to the government on the controversial test proposal. We were the only representatives for animals on the Committee, and proud to be a voice for the voiceless.
We advocated strongly for non-animal test strategies to be used; not only is subjecting dogs and other animals to lethal toxicity tests for recreational party pills morally unjustified, it’s also gambling public health and safety on animal tests that are of questionable relevance to people in the real world.
In response to the high-profile campaign, Prime Minister John Key pledged that animal testing would be set aside completely in these cases, and the New Zealand Parliament immediately cemented his pledge by passing urgent legislation that prohibits the results of animal tests from being used to assess psychoactive drugs—a victory not just for animal welfare but for modern science, too.
You can help us save more animals from cruel and unnecessary testing by becoming a Lab Animal Defender.