Animals are used every day in New Zealand laboratories where they are seen as little more than just another piece of equipment. When they are no longer useful they are usually disposed of with little more consideration than is given to a pair of disposable gloves. They deserve much better. We are opposed to the use of animals as testing and research tools but until the day that ends we need the best possible outcomes for these animals. We at HUHA have rescued and rehomed beagles being bred for research after the VARC laboratory closed. This though is just the tip of the iceberg of what could be done. The animals still in labs need hope and a chance to get out of the labs and into loving homes. The only way this will happen is if the labs are compelled to release them. They won't do it on their own, and that's where you come in to it...
We are asking that the government enact a mandatory animal retirement policy for animals used in research, testing and teaching — ensuring these animals are offered up for public adoption through registered rescue organisations instead of being euthanised; and that this policy also include all surplus and breeding animals. There are many ways this could be done in practice. The essential criteria for this policy are:
• Retirement has to be the first option before any other is considered
• They should go to willing and able rescue organisations to rehabilitate and rehome
• Some history has to be provided to aid in rehabilitation
• Animals used to breed from need to be included.
They deserve the same hope. Policies like this are already in place in Australia and are being introduced in the United States of America and elsewhere. There is no reason why New Zealand cannot help lead the way and make this a reality here.
We have a petition asking that researchers be legally bound to hand over animals to rescue organisations for re-homing. This is a formal petition to Parliament. They have to listen to it and consider it. The more people that add their voices to the petition the better, so please sign it and get your friends to as well! You can print out your own signature sheets from the pdf files provided here. If you can't print them yourself let us know and we'll post you copies. There's an online petition you can sign and share too, so please do that. Click here for the online petition.
More information can be found on our website http://www.outofthelabs.org.nz