Testing Legal Highs on Animals Banned in NZ

WIN: NZ Government agrees to ban testing psychoactive substances on animals.

WIN: Five years later, the reversal of this ban is threatened but is stopped! A ban on testing psychoactive substances on animals in NZ remains!


There are no wins without the work. Thanks to two massive people-powered campaigns driven by the determination of our supporters, together we did it!

The issue: Together with our supporters, we had secured a government ban on testing psychoactive substances on animals. You can learn about the history of this great win here.

Then five years later, then Health Minister, David Clark, announced that a review had been released on the Psychoactive Substances Act and that the Act had failed. The review pushed that this failure was partly due to the absence of using animals in safety testing.

The solution: The possibility of removing the ban on testing party pills on animals sent alarm bells through NZAVS headquarters, and we knew that we needed to call on our supporters to act fast! Together, we needed to ensure that political power-players would be met with massive resistance if they backed the historic, hard-won ban being removed.

Tactics included:

  • More than 1500 supporters took action and sent a personalised message to Minister Clark.
  • Pushing for Minister Clark to issue an explicit statement to assure NZAVS and its supporters that the ban would not be revoked.
  • Pushing for all political parties to exert pressure on Minister Clark and to issue their statements of support not to revoke the ban.

This people-powered campaign resulted in the following political parties issuing these statements of support, and as a result, Minister Clark and his party (The Labour Party) also issued a clear statement in support of the ban remaining:

The Labour Party

“The Government currently has no intention of changing the provision regarding animal testing, and I believe it is more likely that alternative test methods will become acceptable in future,” David Clark, Minister of Health.

The Green Party

“The Green Party loves animals and will make sure we do not lose the ban on animal testing for psychoactive substances,” Gareth Hughes, Green MP.

New Zealand First

“NZ First have no plans to seek to overturn the current ban on animal testing psychoactive substances,” Mark Patterson, New Zealand First MP.

The National Party

"I can confirm National continues to oppose the use of animal testing for psychoactive substances," Simeon Brown, National MP.

Thanks to our supporters, Animals are protected from party pill testing under the current law, and the above statements reassure us that this won’t change any time soon, if ever. 


Together with you, we will continue to do what is one of our most important jobs – keeping a close and watchful eye on any NZ government and legislative changes that might affect animals used in research, testing or teaching.

Thanks to you, any government and their Health Minister now know how important this issue is to the wider public. Now, they will be well aware that if any future plans to remove this ban arise, they will be met with a fierce campaign that will instantly have the support of our incredible supporters.


This was a people-powered campaign in action! Together, we’ve safeguarded animals, and together, we've made sure animals won't be subject to more cruel and invalid tests thank you!

With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.