Victory! How it happened
In 2012 the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) discovered that the Government intended to allow testing on animals such as dogs and rats for party pill regulation.
Tests, to check whether party drugs were safe for humane consumption, would have involved extreme suffering and cruelty to both large and small animals leading to pain, distress and protracted death.
Early in 2013 SAFE joined forces with NZAVS and the RNZSPCA to prevent the testing. Launching the “Leave Animals Out” website together, we ran a petition which gathered nearly 70,000 signatures in just a few weeks. We handed this into Parliament, drawing lots of media attention to the issue. Our argument was simple: using animals as the subject of tests for recreational drugs is both unethical and unnecessary.
A submission period followed during which the government heard from thousands of people via the “Leave Animals Out” website. All submissions were rejected as the Government decided to exclude animal testing from issues they were considering.
Everyone was incensed at the Government inaction and soon animal shelter HUHA and local people in Auckland arranged marches all over the country. Thousands of people united in standing up for the animals – making it one of the biggest national animal marches in New Zealand history. But still the Government refused to back down: they would allow animal testing and that was that. We continued to soldier on behind the scenes, even putting up a 16-metre-long billboard in Wellington, aimed at the political powers!