Science is important. It's the driving force behind innovation, from life-saving medical advancements to the technology that connects us globally. Science fuels our understanding of the natural world, providing answers to fundamental questions and addressing pressing challenges such as climate change and disease outbreaks.
However, at NZAVS we believe that ethics and science can go hand and hand and when they do, we get to see science upheld to its fullest integrity.
Team NZAVS advocates for the use of animal-free and human-relevant research, testing and teaching methods that don't cause harm to animals or people.
For humans these include:
- Human-relevant research for finding cures and treatments for humans as well as for testing the safety of products and substances for humans.
- Human-relevant teaching methods for training people on how to help people.
- Other non-harmful teaching methods.
For animals these include:
- Non-harmful research, testing or teaching that is done to improve the quality of health for the individual involved in the study. Interventions should be non-invasive except where necessary for an animal's recovery or improvement in health.
- Scientifically viable and non-harmful teaching methods. These can be animal-free for all teaching methods apart from training veterinarians and vet nurses and other animal care professions as there will be a point in the training process that students need to be exposed to live animals - just like human doctors and surgeons. Using animals for veterinary purposes should – and can – match the use of human patients in research that will benefit humans: ethically and without harming any individual.
- Observational or behavioural research on free-living and sanctuary animals where participation is voluntary. This would involve the voluntary or passive participation of the subject where research methods are compatible with the subject's natural habits.
- Research, testing or teaching that is done for conservation purposes of the species involved in the study. These methods will exclude harmful interventions which would result in pain, injury, or death.
It is important to clarify that:
- We are fully opposed to and aim to abolish the use of animals to try and predict the human response to drugs and disease.
- We do not support research that significantly harms individuals, even when a conservation benefit may accrue. These or other benefits should be pursued through non-harmful research.
- The use of animals for the purpose of enhancing the animal agricultural industry is also something that we do not support. Rather than doing research and testing on animals to try and make them more productive for alleged human benefit, we should focus our efforts on eliminating the exploitation of animals.
You can learn more about the animal-free scientific methods that we back here.