The Animal advocacy group SAFE say they are delighted that Prime Minister John Key has ruled out the use of animals for testing controversial legal highs drugs.
Last year the proposed testing of psychoactive substances (legal highs or party pills) led to legislation which allowed cruel testing on animals such as dogs under law if no other alternative exists. SAFE, along with other animal groups and supporters campaigned for the last 18 months to stop the cruel tests.
SAFE says any animal tests to check whether party drugs are safe for human consumption would involve suffering and cruelty to both large and small animals such as dogs and rats, and would lead to pain, distress and death.
SAFE says: “Animal testing for party drugs is not just cruel and ethically wrong, it also would not work. Studies modelled on rats and dogs cannot show the psychological long-term damage in humans, since these drugs affect people differently.”
Better alternatives to animal experiments already exist, says SAFE, and in the United Kingdom the testing on animals of recreational products such as alcohol and tobacco has been banned for years.
But SAFE warns that the PM now needs to ensure that his comments become law and that he also must rule out any results from animal tests conducted overseas.