Opposition announcement on cosmetics testing welcome news for animals

July 2014

SAFE is delighted at the announcement from the Labour party that they have committed to a ban on cosmetics testing on animals, plus the sale and import of animal tested products.

The news comes after a two year campaign by SAFE and Humane Society International on the ‘Be Cruelty-Free NZ' campaign. It also follows a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP), introduced in Parliament by Green Party MP Mojo Mathers that would amend the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, currently under consultation, to include a prohibition on the use of animals in experiments relating to cosmetics.

"It is great to see politicians getting behind this important issue. Thousands of people have said they want a ban in law - and now it looks like they are being listened to. No one wants to see animals suffer for the sake of a new shampoo."says SAFE head of campaigns Mandy Carter.

No animal should ever suffer for the sake of shampoo or lipgloss.
If you agree, join us by sending our e-card to all of the parties.

Just go to the website, fill in your details, and hit send!  



New Zealand sheep used in cruel testing overseas

June 2014

An undercover investigation overseas has exposed horrific cruelty to New Zealand sheep in a U.K. laboratory.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) discovered that Cambridge University have been using sheep bred in New Zealand to research neurological disorders. As part of the grotesque testing regime, sheep had devices implanted in their brains resulting in blindness, disorientation and severe suffering. Laboratory staff also allegedly abused some of the animals, with one sheep suffering a broken leg and having to be euthanised after being shoved in to a crate.










The testing models used in the UK in these tests were first developed at Lincoln and Otago Universities. A lot of animal testing in New Zealand is carried out on farm animals by the agriculture industry to maximise profits and productivity. Less than 10% is for medical research.

Nine out of ten experimental drugs fail in clinical studies after the animal tests, demonstrating that animal tests are not the best method.

SAFE head of campaigns Mandy Carter says, "this latest investigation demonstrates yet again how cruel and horrific animal testing really is. SAFE would love to see an end to animal testing once and for all, and to see it replaced by more effective, modern technologies."

What you can do
View the undercover footage and share.
Check out our infographic to get the full facts on animal testing.





May 2014

SAFE 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 campaigned for the last 18 months to stop the cruel tests.

"The public were outraged at the possibility that animals would be hurt for party drugs. It is great that the PM has now listened to what New Zealanders want," says executive director Hans Kriek.

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.

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.

Government urged to steer clear of animal testing for legal highs

April 2014

ban legal high

With controversial legal highs back in the news, SAFE says the Government needs to ensure the latest furore does not lead to more controversy by using animal testing in attempts to prove the drugs' 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 says 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 are thrilled that the Labour Party has come out in strong opposition to testing of recreational drugs on animals.

Please show your support for Labour's stance against the testing of these drugs on animals by emailing party leader David Cunliffe congratulating him on his stance and ask him to keep up the good work for animals.

Please share!


World Day for Lab Animals 2014

April 2014

Alone; scared; defenceless; in pain. Just imagine being a laboratory rabbit.

April marks World Week for Animals in Labs, a time when we unite around the world to remember those animals who have suffered in experiments. Check out the new infographic and what you can do.


Cruelty-Free Companies Issue Plea to John Key to Ban Cosmetics Animal Testing

March 2014

The latest development in SAFE's cruelty-free cosmetics campaign has seen twenty eight cosmetics companies from across New Zealand, including major brands such as LUSH, the Body Shop and Kiwi favourites Antipodes, Oasis Beauty and Sorbet issuing a plea to Prime Minster John Key to ban animal testing for cosmetics in New Zealand.

The joint open letter reads, “We are part of a thriving, innovative and successful New Zealand cosmetics industry that operates entirely without animal testing. Banning animal testing of cosmetics would be good for our industry, and good for consumers and animals alike.”

The letter follows the recent amendment introduced by Green MP Mojo Mather, which if it goes ahead will change the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill to include a prohibition on the use of animals in experiments relating to cosmetics.

SAFE’s campaign manager, Mandy Carter, said: “No one wants to see animals suffering for the sake of a new shampoo or lipstick. The fact that these companies are hugely successful without harming any animals just goes to show how unnecessary animal testing is. A ban is the right thing to do for humans and animals, and the review of the Animal Welfare Act is the perfect opportunity to make this happen.”  

Download the full letter text here.


Companies proudly cruelty-free and writing to John Key:

Antipodes, Lush, The Body Shop, Wendyl's Green Goddess, Kester Black, NZ Skincare company, Linden Leaves, Ecobeings, The Herb Farm, Aubrey Organics, French Transit Ltd, Sorbet, Oasis Beauty, Flawless, Pot of Gold, Klin isi, Sukin, Montagne Jeunesse, Dr Wendy's, Skinfood (NZ) Limited, African Pacific, Blue Earth Ltd, Ann Marie Gianni, Spa Ayurda, Joi Pure, NLG Healing, Immersion Mineral Cosmetics, Hurraw! Balm.


A ban on cosmetic testing on animals - WE can make it law!

March 2014

Due to an exciting new amendment introduced by Green MP MP Mojo Mathers, the government is now legally required to consider banning cosmetic testing on animals in the review of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Find out more.


SAFE's animal testing campaigns win international prize

November 2013

SAFE is proud to announce that it is a winner of the Lush Prize, an international award for outstanding contributions to replacing animal testing.

The prize was awarded today in London in the ‘Public Awareness' category, for "publicising the use of animal-testing in national drugs regulation and helping consumers to buy cruelty-free products".

"The award comes with a prize of £25,000 (NZ $48,000) which will give a significant boost to SAFE's campaign against animal testing in 2014," says SAFE Executive Director Hans Kriek. SAFE was nominated specifically for SAFEShopper, the consumer guide for products not tested on animals, its work on the New Zealand arm of the international Be Cruelty Free campaign aiming for a ban on cosmetics testing, and its part in fighting proposed party pill testing on animals.

Read full story


John Key urged to hop to it and ban animal testing for cosmetics!

25 July 2013


SAFE and Humane Society International representatives today presented the 15,600 strong Be Cruelty Free petition to Parliament, calling for Prime Minister John Key to ‘hop to it' and ban animal testing for cosmetics in New Zealand. Hop to it!

SAFE and HSI worked in partnership as the New Zealand arm of the global Be Cruelty-Free campaign, the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics cruelty. The Be Cruelty-Free petition asks the government to ban animal testing for cosmetics as part of the review of New Zealand's Animal Welfare Act. Subjecting rabbits, mice and other animals to tests that involve cosmetic chemicals being dripped into their eyes or fed to them in high doses is both unethical and scientifically unreliable. 

SAFE campaign manager Mandy Carter says New Zealand must urgently re-evaluate its position on cosmetics animal testing. With bans on this practice in place in Europe, Israel and most recently, India, she believes we are lagging behind the times on this issue.

"Are we less ethical than other parts of the world? It is absolutely clear that people do not want to see animals subjected to cruel and unnecessary tests for the sake of trivial and frivolous means and that this must be enshrined in law."

There is no legal ban in New Zealand preventing cosmetic companies from testing their cosmetic products or ingredients on animals. As companies are not required to submit information on what tests they conduct, the extent of such testing is hidden from public view. Recently a new "anti-ageing" cream that had been developed and tested in New Zealand, including tests on mice and rats, went on the national market.

Across the globe, hundreds of cosmetic companies produce safe, innovative beauty products without animal testing. Instead they demonstrate product safety by combining cutting-edge non-animal testing methods with the use of existing ingredients with long histories of use in cosmetics.

Photos by Jo Moore

Animals ‘to pay with their lives' for recreational drugs

Hans Kriek, Executive Director

July 2013 - The Psychoactive Substances Bill has become law to the dismay of anyone who cares about animals. Animals are likely to pay with their lives for these drugs to be tested.

The Bill will require manufacturers of recreational drugs to prove that these drugs will pose only a low risk to consumers before they are allowed to bring them onto the market.

There is nothing wrong with that of course; safety for consumers is important and, given that these drugs are widely consumed, setting safety standards makes perfect sense.

What is appalling, however, is that animals are likely to be killed so these drugs can be tested.

Read more at the Kapiti Independent.

SAFE and supporters took part in the national marches in July and have put up an eye-catching 15-metre-long billboard in Wellington.

If animal testing is carried out in the approval process for recreational drugs, politicians can expect legal challenges and a huge public outcry. The Government will be held to account for any suffering inflicted.

SAFE will be lobbying MPs on this issue as part of the upcoming review of the Animal Welfare Act, and will demand that a ban is written into the legislation.

Take action!

Please contact your MP directly using the easy email set up at and ask them to support an amendment to the Act to prohibit the use of animals in testing relating to a psychoactive product.


MPs vote in favour of animal cruelty

10 July 2013

Politicians have voted against an amendment that would have ruled out the use of data from animal testing for party pill recreational drugs. National MPs and United Future's Peter Dunne blocked the proposed amendment to the Psychoactive Substances Bill that would have prohibited any animal testing.

Campaign manager Mandy Carter says the vote was shameful. "The profits of drug dealers have effectively been put ahead of animals' lives. New Zealand says it aims to be a world leader in animal welfare but in actual fact we are legalising animal cruelty for the sake of testing recreational drugs - something that other places such as the United Kingdom have banned."

Clauses have been put into the act stating that animal tests have to be kept to a minimum but Ms Carter says this will be ineffectual.

"While these clauses sound promising they will have no effect whatsoever because it is spelt out quite clearly that animal testing is allowed. This decision is truly shocking given the many sound alternative testing methods available." Ms Carter said the government heard from over 70 thousand New Zealanders who signed a petition calling for testing of party pills on animals to be banned. The select committee also ignored submissions on the testing of party pills on animals.

The Green Party introduced the amendment, which was supported by SAFE. Mojo Mathers MP has previously said "We have not seen any evidence to indicate that we need to allow animal testing of recreational drugs. In fact, the evidence we have seen shows that all the proposed animal tests can be replaced with modern and effective non-animal tests".

SAFE will be lobbying MPs on this issue as part of the upcoming review of the Animal Welfare Act, and will demand that a ban is written into the legislation.

Easy ecard at

Please contact your MP directly using the easy email set up at and ask them to support an amendment to the Act to prohibit the use of animals in testing relating to a psychoactive product.


New Zealand misses chance to lead world against animal testing

19 June 2013

Despite a huge public outcry the select committee considering the Psychoactive Substances Bill has refused to consider banning testing of party pills using animals. Instead it put clauses into the pending law saying animal tests have to be kept to a minimum, and alternatives have to be used where possible.

In just a month, nearly 70 thousand New Zealanders signed a petition calling for testing of party pills on animals to be banned. However the Select Committee ignored submissions on the testing of party pills on animals. SAFE executive director Hans Kriek said the proposed animal welfare additions to the Psychoactive Substances Bill are a cop out.

"Its a cowardly decision that they made, and again they're not doing New Zealand Inc. a service here at all. We could have led the world here, and now we're just going to be running behind everyone else again."

Write in

Write personally before 27 June to your electorate MP, or the Minister responsible Todd McClay and let them know testing non-essential recreational drugs on animals is abhorrent to you. In order to stop animals being used for the testing the amendment put forward by the Green Party needs to pass, and they need to vote for it.

Contact details for all MPs can be found here


60,000 strong say 'leave animals out'

21 May 2013

Over 60,000 people have voiced their objection to the proposed testing of party pills on animals.

Today at lunchtime, SAFE, The New Zealand Anti Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and the Royal New Zealand SPCA. and supporters accompanied by dogs, including rescued laboratory dogs, presented a petition on the steps of Parliament, asking the government to specifically prohibit animal testing of these drugs. The organisations say public outcry against the cruel tests has been overwhelming.

The petition calls on the House of Representatives to stop animal testing of party pills and gathered over 60,000 signatures in just over one month, showing strong public opposition to harming animals for the sake of recreational drugs. 

The petition handover took place despite the refusal last week by the National Party MPs on the health select committee to hear submissions on animal testing during the hearings on the psychoactive substances bill.

"The select committee is not only missing an opportunity to prevent unnecessary suffering for dogs and rats but also to listen to the significant number of Kiwis that clearly want animal testing ruled out," says SAFE Executive Director Hans Kriek.


Chance to have your say on legal highs animal testing

May 2013 

Submission period now closed

The government called for public submissions on the psychoactive substances bill, which aims to have recreational drugs proven safe before they can be sold. Testing may be necessary - but not on animals, which the bill currently allows. We're asking that a clause specifically prohibiting animal testing be included in any proposed legislation, and you can help.

If you haven't yet added your name to our petition please take a moment now, and share with your friends.


Submission period now closed

Members of the public made submissions to the Select Committee explaining that testing recreational drugs on animals is ethically wrong, and how smart, modern, alternative research methods would be both a compassionate and more reliable option.



March 2013

SAFE has joined forces with The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and the SPCA to prevent the testing of psychoactive drugs ("party pills" or "legal highs") on animals, saying it is completely unacceptable.

Tests, to check whether party drugs are safe for humane consumption, would involve extreme suffering and cruelty to both large and small animals (rats and dogs) leading to protracted death, pain and distress. Using animals as the subject of tests for recreational drugs is both unethical and unnecessary.


Show your opposition to the proposal by signing the petition to leave animals out of legal highs testing!

You can also download the paper petition and get your friends, family, workmates and acquaintances to sign them. Please make sure to only use the petition provided as any sent in not on the official form cannot be counted.

Freepost is provided for returns. You can add your signature to both the paper and online petition.

SAFE will also be calling on you to make a submission to the Select Committee considering the Bill when the time comes. NZAVS is providing information on how to do this to anyone that is interested. For an info pack send your address by email to and one will be posted.

Download the FAQ for more information.

 Please donate to support SAFE's vital work for New Zealand's animals. 

Animals facing death for legal highs

November 2012

SAFE and other animal welfare groups say it is unacceptable that the Government is still considering using animals for testing of party pills. Animals will be experimented on under a controversial scientific testing method being considered by the Government to determine whether the ‘legal highs' party drugs are safe for human consumption.

"The proposed testing of party pills on animals would add to an already shocking figure for New Zealand - with last year over 327,000 animals experimented on. Animal testing is cruel and unnecessary and this latest news makes a mockery of a system that claims it is working at reducing animal experiments," says Campaign Manager Mandy Carter.

"Better alternatives already exist to animal experiments, so why subject animals to cruelty if we don't need to?" says Mandy. "In the UK recreational drug, alcohol and tobacco testing is banned, it's time for New Zealand to do the same".

SAFE, the SPCA and The Green party are urging New Zealanders to fight the proposal when public submissions are called for.

Although Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has ruled out the controversial Lethal Dose (LD50) test in which doses of a drug are given to a sample group of animals until half the test group dies, he has said other forms of animal testing are possible.

Take Action!

Show your opposition to the proposal by e-mailing or writing to Peter Dunne at
Post: c/o Parliament Buildings, Private Bag 18888, Wellington 6160 (no stamp necessary).


Increased suffering reveals failure of animal testing system

October 2012

A 35% increase in the number of animals suffering in experiments indicates the failure of the animal testing regulatory system. The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) has released its latest annual report on animal testing in New Zealand, revealing that 327,674 animals were experimented on in 2011 - a deplorable figure.

"Despite NAEAC's responsibility to reduce animal experiments, little has changed in 10 years, with nearly 3 million animals tested on in the last decade," says SAFE Campaign Manager Mandy Carter. "Even worse, an average of 43% of animals died or were euthanised following the end of the studies."

In 2011, a staggering 17,581 animals were subjected to the two severest impact grades of animal testing, where animals will have undergone procedures that cause extreme pain and distress. Most were mice and fish, with possums, cats, cows, sheep and rabbits also suffering in these cruel experiments.

The report also reveals that the majority of animal testing in New Zealand takes place on ‘production animals', particularly cows and sheep - experiments aimed at increasing the profits of animal agricultural industries. This includes the controversial genetic engineering done at AgResearch - most recently, macabre experiments on mice and cows resulting in a single ‘successful' deformed calf - undertaken in order to produce cows with ‘added value' to the dairy industry. Less than 10% of tests were performed for medical research.

"There seems to be no real commitment to reduce the suffering in New Zealand labs," says Ms Carter. "Unfortunately, the Government seems content with the status quo, even though most Kiwis completely oppose cruelty to animals and there are better alternative non-animal testing methods available."

"The NAEAC report obscures the reality of suffering for animals each day in New Zealand labs. There is a real lack of transparency and SAFE questions the integrity of the system," says Ms Carter.

As part of this year's Animal Welfare Act review SAFE called for an overhaul of the regulatory system overseeing New Zealand's animal experiments, a system that is vulnerable to abuse and non-compliance and that works to conceal animal suffering. SAFE encourages the public to contact their local MP through the website and demand a system that provides genuine protection for New Zealand's laboratory animals.



Around 300,000 animals per year are used in experimentation in New Zealand.

Email your MP
to ask to ban party pill testing as part of the Animal Welfare Act review.



April 2014
OneNews Animal testing could snag plan to ban legal highs

March 2014

3News Govt considers cosmetic animal testing ban

November 2013

Newstalk ZB Animal testing of cosmetics in China is no longer necessary

Kapiti Independent 9 out of 10 Kiwis oppose cosmetic testing

October 2013

MSN News Young Nats showdown with MPs over animal testing

NZ Herald Law change on research animals

August 2013

Stuff L'Oreal buys back into animal tests

Herald on Sunday Catriona MacLennan: Animal testing flawed, cruel

Yahoo News Italy bans all animal testing of recreational drugs

July 2013

30 July National marches:
MSN News
Newstalk ZB

A-list 'Screw fun that means suffering'

3News Activists call for end to animal testing

Wanganui Chronicle Legal highs a new low for animals

Kapiti Independent Ban animal testing

Greens New lipstick not enough for cruel suffering

NZ Herald Party pill test protests expected

Wanganui Chronicle Debate rages on tests for legal highs

Huffington Post India announces cruelty-free cosmetics testing policy

3News Govt 'lagging behind' on animal testing laws

MSN News Animal studies often biased: US scientists

Newstalk ZB John Banks against animal testing

3News Party pill vote outrages animal activists

Radio NZ Tougher animal testing regime proposed 

Newstalk ZB Animal testing will be permitted

3News Greens bid to stop animal testing fails

Greens Kevin Hague: expert advice ruled out of order

June 2013

ParliamentTV John Banks against animal testing

Newstalk ZB NZ misses chance to lead world

Radio NZ Bill changes nothing

May 2013

Stuff Dogs to pay for pills?

Radio NZ Petition seeks animal testing ban

NZ Herald Beagles tug at heartstrings in protest

Newstalk ZB Parliament has gone to the dogs

3News Petition calls for animal testing ban

Scoop 60,000 strong petition calls for testing ban

TVNZ Animal welfare advocates outraged

Stuff Politicians bypass animals' function in party pill testing

April 2013 

3 News Thousands sign animal testing petition

HorizonPoll Firm "no" to party pill testing on animals 

Scoop Majority opposed to 'party pills' testing on animals 

March 2013

Scoop SAFE urges NZ follow EU ban

Huffington Post EU ban comes into force

ONE News No guarantee against party pill testing on animals

December 2012

ODT Kiwis oppose animal trials for party pills

November 2012

NZ Herald NZ can drive ending of animal testing

Campbell Live Alternatives to animal testing

Stuff Party pills animal testing abhorrent

NZ Herald Endangering animals for recreational gain repellent 

3 News Animal testing of recreational drugs 'unlikely'

NZ Herald Party pill tests on animals in doubt

Stuff Lethal LD50 testing on dogs ruled out

Stuff Dogs facing death for legal highs

October 2012 

Scoop Increased suffering reveals failure of animal testing

September 2012

NZ Herald Daisy's modified milk proves divisive

NZ Herald AgResearch produces modified cows

Stuff Legal highs tested on animals

June 2012

Campbell Live New lives for caged beagles

May 2012

Times Online Cry goes out to ban tests

April 2012

WATCH Beagles rescued from a lab in Italy

Daily Mail UK Lush extreme action

SAFE PRESS RELEASE NZ joins global campaign to end cosmetic testing on animals

Mar 2012

NZ HERALD University's death toll - 25,000 animals in two years

Nov 2011

CAMPBELL LIVE  Locals outraged over animal disposal

CAMPBELL LIVE  More disturbing stories emerge from beagle research lab

CAMPBELL LIVE  Animal ethics expert responds to dog research

TV3 NEWS  Lab-test beagles arriving ill after TradeMe sale

CAMPBELL LIVE NZ's lab test beagles looking for homes

STUFF  The moment lab dogs first tasted freedom