animal testing march - auckland
On July 30th the Farmwatch team joined thousands of compassionate people in Auckland, who voiced their opposition to the recently passed Psychoactive Substances Act. The act allows new substances to be tested on animals if necessary, but Farmwatch believes testing on animals is never necessary. Farmwatch is against all animal testing and would like to see yesterday's protest action become the start of a wider discussion about the use of animals in research, testing and teaching.
Farmwatch is primarily focused on advocacy for farmed animals, which is not commonly associated with animal testing. But what not many people realise is that that over 90 per cent of all animal testing undertaken in New Zealand is for the agricultural sector, with just over half of animals tested on being farmed animals such as cattle, sheep, deer, goats and pigs. Other non-farmed animals such as rodents and birds are also used to test products and theories for the agricultural sector.
Figures released in 2011 by the Ministry for Primary Industries state the most commonly reported species as (in order) cattle, mice, sheep and chickens. It is the first time since 1997 that cattle have been the most common tested species and also making up 63.0 percent of the farmed animals used. The increase in cattle numbers reflects the need for dairy farms to be producing milk in higher volumes and quality, with minimal cost.
Veterinary research, animal husbandry research and teaching were the main uses of farmed animals. This research is undertaken to increase the profits of the agricultural industry. Animals are experimented on to improve growth rates, use their food more efficiently, increase reproductive output or modify the quantity and quality of their milk. Vaccines and agricultural chemicals are also developed to increase economic yields, not out of concern for animal welfare.
If we really want to keep animals safe from animal testing in New Zealand we need to stop supporting the agricultural industry by not consuming animal products.
For more of our photos from the march visit our Facebook page.