Hundreds march against drug testing on animals

By Alecia Rousseau

Hundreds of Manawatu residents turned out in The Square in Palmerston North on Tuesday to march against legal highs being tested on animals. The event was one of many being held across the country protesting against the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which will allow new products to be tested on animals when necessary.

Anti-Vivisection Society member and Palmerston North protest organiser Jenn Doyle said the support they had received in Palmerston North was overwhelming.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is happening all over the country today. New Zealand needs to come together on this bill or else it will continue."

This issue was not just a moral one, she said, but one that was also supported by scientific facts proving animal testing was redundant.

"Toxicologists all over the world have stopped testing on animals for many years.

"We need to keep the pressure on parliament so we to can have this changed."

Tara Jackson, Sam Roberts and their fox terrier Weasel also attended Tuesday's march.

"There are so many reasons why we would be against testing legal highs on animals - the real question is 'why would we be for it'," said Ms Jackson.

Many of the protesters shouted 'speak for those who can't speak for themselves' while holding signs that advertised reasons against the testing. These alleged that animal testing is often less accurate than others regimes.

Trish Whale said her dog Jake also came along to say "no", but needed someone to speak for him.

"He wants to say 'No, no no. Do not test on us; we are not agreeing to this'."

A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences found that animal testing could not be used to predict human response, and drug trials which were unsafe and useless in humans were found to pass animal trials successfully.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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