Out of the Labs

Out of the Labs

Thousands of animals are killed after being used for research, testing and teaching (RTT), in New Zealand every year. Currently, there are no laws or regulations in place to protect these animals from being needlessly euthanised.

In 2016 alone over 62,000 animals were killed during or after being used for RTT in NZ.

The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) teamed up to ask the government to create a mandatory retirement policy for ex-RTT animals, to help encourage the rehoming of ex-RTT animals and prevent unnecessary euthanasia. With your help, we got over 16,000 signatures on our petition asking the government to establish a mandatory retirement policy.

Unfortunately, in May 2018, the MPs deciding on our petition decided against making a small legislative change to save the lives of thousands of lab animals. But we didn't let that stop us! Instead, we met with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) directly and spent a lot of time bridging the gap between us and decision makers.

In July 2018 MPI announced that they are going to actively start encouraging the rehoming of ex-RTT animals in NZ - A massive win for animals all around the country!




The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) teamed up to help get as many animals out of labs and into loving homes, as possible! We are obviously strongly opposed to the use of animals for animal experimentation but until the day this ends, we need the best possible outcomes for these animals.


Both MPI and the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) have started initiatives to support rehoming.

MPI added a section to their website highlighting that they encourage this, and the Good Practice guide for the use of animals in research, testing and teaching now includes guidance for rehoming.

NAEAC has also informed animal ethics committees that NZAVS and HUHA have offered to be the points of contact for organisations and researchers who may have animals that are appropriate for rehoming. 

Read about some of the changes that we have discussed with MPI that they are now considering here.

To summarise, although  MPI didn't think a legislative change to encourage the rehoming of ex-RTT animals was necessary yet, they do still agree that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed and changes need to be made. MPI have told us that they think other changes, such as the ideas listed in the link above, will help create a behavioural change within the industry and result in the rehoming of ex-lRTT animals. They also haven't ruled out making a legislative change in the future if these first initiatives don't work effectively.  


We will continue meeting with decision-makers to find more ways to work together to get as many animals out of labs as possible. If we don't see substantial changes, we will once again, campaign for a legislative change for ex-RTT animals.

We are happy to be the first point of contact for facilities around NZ with ex-RTT animals needing to be rehabilitated and rehomed and we will actively promote this.

HUHA has a lot of experience with rehabilitating and rehoming institutionalised animals including ex-lab, ex-circus and ex-farm animals so they are the perfect shelter to take on these animals! 

Once animals are collected, they will get a vet check and get appropriate vet treatment, then they will be assessed and will begin their rehoming process. We will take great care to ensure that these animals go to willing and able people who are aware of their history (when it is known) and anyone adopting these animals will have to sign a contract agreeing not to breed the animals or treat them in any harmful way and if they change their mind and longer want them, they are obliged to return them to HUHA. 

We have already gotten the opportunity to rescue one group of fifty mice from Massey University. We hope that this is just the first case of many moving forward! 


  1. Donate to Help rewrite the future for other ex-research, testing and teaching animals in NZ.
  1. Adopt an ex-RTT animal!

We have a growing list of people who would love the opportunity to rehome these animals, especially ex-RTT rats or mice.To be added to this list, just send us an email to nzavs@nzavs.org.nz with the following: 
- Your name 
- Email address 
- Phone number 
- Location 
- What kind of animal you would like to rehome and how many (i.e. one dog or two rats etc.)

To clarify, we don't currently have any ex-RTT animals needing homes, but we want to be prepared for when/if we get offered any from facilities around NZ who use animals for research, testing or teaching.