Using animals for science does not start in a lab. It is driven by a complicated web of factors. Funding and policy decisions are major drivers of animal experimentation. A lack of transparency and openness means the public rarely knows what is going on. And our laws are often weak and selectively enforced. To tackle these problems, we are going to the very source of the use of animals in science!
Our Striking at the Source petition aims to put pressure on Parliament to start creating a world without animal testing. NZAVS has been campaigning on this topic for decades, so we will also be sharing our expertise on how to make it happen.
THE CHANGES WE WANT
The changes that we the NZ Government and the Animal Science and Research Industry to make:
BETTER ALLOCATION OF FUNDING
- Funding for retraining scientists to use non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
- Funding for infrastructure for non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
- Prioritise funding for research using non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
- Prioritise funding for research to create non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
- Funding for universities to develop courses on non-animal-based and human-relevant methods.
- Deprioritise funding for animal-based research, with an aim to phase out government funding for animal-based research entirely.
- Government bodies commit to phasing out the use of animals in science as technology permits.
- Phase out all requirements for animal testing in New Zealand law.
- Legislation amended to require that non-animal-based RTT method be used over animal-based methods (alive or dead), where they exist.
- An independent body for animal welfare, such as a Crown entity or commission.
- A Minister for Animals, separate from the Minister for Agriculture.
- A comprehensive review of the efficacy of the animal model and the potential viability of non-animal-based methods as replacements.
- Involvement of the public and advocacy groups like NZAVS in decision-making.
- A requirement for all Animal Ethics Committees to have an expert on non-animal-based methods.
- A requirement for all Animal Ethics Committees to make applications public.
- A requirement for all Animal Ethics Committees to check for non-animal-based methods that may be able to replace animals when considering an application.
- The establishment and maintenance of a database of non-animal-based methods, to aid Animal Ethics Committees.
- The restructure of Animal Ethics Committees to minimise conflicts of interest. Scientists involved should not have a financial interest in animal-based research – whether via employment or ownership of a company.
- Sufficient funding for enforcement to ensure these objectives are met.
BETTER OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY.
- Mandatory filming of experiments involving animals.
- A registration program for those providing animals for research.
- Birth to end-of-research tracing and transparency, so it is clear for any given experiment where the animals came from and where they went after the research.
- Greater transparency for existing documents, requiring their publication.
- Publish all findings using animals to avoid unnecessary repetition.
- Ensure private research conducted on animals is made public, to avoid unnecessary repetition.
- Research conducted overseas for New Zealand companies should be subject to the same standards of openness and transparency.
We believe that fulfilling these requirements will result in a new, refreshed system that will encourage scientific progress without causing harm to animals.
This new system will help pave the way for a kinder and fairer Aotearoa for both animals and people.