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SPCA NZ concerned about new Otago Uni animal laboratory

Friday, 13 May, 2016

d08943b927d17665612953339128dd63904cbdab 620x310SPCA New Zealand has grave concerns about the construction of a new $50 million, five-storey animal research facility at the University of Otago.

“The SPCA strongly opposes any practice that causes animals unnecessary pain and suffering, including animal research,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand.

“Animals are sentient beings that can feel pain, fear, and distress, so we are wholeheartedly committed to the principles of the ‘3Rs’ – replacing the use of animals in research, reducing the number of animals used, and refining experimental procedure to reduce suffering.”

The Ministry for Primary Industries also supports the 3Rs, and the Animal Welfare Act 1999 explicitly refers to the promotion of the 3Rs.

“There are now viable alternatives – including the use of cell, tissue, and organ cultures, human volunteers, and computer modelling – that should enable New Zealand institutions to be actively reducing the amount of experimentation carried out on sentient animals, rather than ramping it up,” says Mr Odom.

“In our submission on the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill in 2014, we called for the use of animals in research, testing and, teaching to be phased out altogether and replaced with non-animal models – and this is still our position.

“The SPCA would like to see the $50 million cost of this giant animal research facility used to develop further alternative techniques, rather than used to build a laboratory for conducting further experiments on sentient animals.”