TESTS ON ANIMALS
By Alan Tristram
The animal advocacy group SAFE says the Government needs to ensure the legal highs row does not lead to more controversy by using animal tests to decide drug dangers or safety.
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 (Save Animals From Exploitation) says (and this paper agrees) that any animal test for legal highs must be banned altogether.
“Animals need to be left out of these tests. It is totally unacceptable, especially for a recreational drug,” says executive director Hans Kriek.
“Animal testing for party drugs is not just cruel and ethically wrong, it’s also not going to work. Studies modelled on rats and dogs cannot show the
psychological long-term damage in humans, since these drugs affect people differently.”
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.
Better alternatives to animal experiments already exist and in the United Kingdom the testing on animals of recreational products such as alcohol and tobacco has been banned for years.
With 2014 being Election year, SAFE says the Government needs to be mindful that nine out of ten people oppose the use of animals for legal high testing and that this issue will become a major election campaign if animals are harmed.