In 2014 NZAVS and HUHA teamed up to address a serious problem in NZ - thousands of animals used or bred for science are killed every year here. Many of these animals could have been rehomed but there were no regulations or incentives in place to encourage this.
Together, we launched our Out of the Labs campaign where we asked the NZ Government to create a mandatory rehoming policy for animals used or bred for science in NZ. Our aim was to encourage rehoming and prevent unnecessary euthanasia.
With your help, we got over 16,000 signatures on our petition asking the government to establish a mandatory rehoming policy.
Unfortunately, in 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.
Later that year, MPI announced that they are going to actively start encouraging the rehoming of animals used of bred for science in NZ - A massive win for animals all around the country!
We want to give as many animals as possible a second chance at life. We are fiercely opposed to animal experimentation but until the day this ends, we need the best possible outcomes for these animals.
Our fight to end animal experimentation will not stop or slow down but instead, simultaneously, we will be doing our best to prevent any animals used or bred for science from needlessly being killed.
Both MPI and the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) 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 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 these 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 animals used or bred for science.
They also haven't ruled out making a legislative change in the future if these first initiatives don't work effectively.
WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW
We will continue to find more ways 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 animals used or bred for science.
We are actively rehoming animals wherever possible.