An Increase in Suffering: Animal Testing Up 39%

A 39% increase in the number of animals suffering in experiments shows an alarming trend in 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 in 2014 310,287 animals were subjected to experiments.

A staggering 8,555 animals were subject to “very high impact” experiments, a category that includes procedures that cause extreme pain and distress. Rodents, rabbits, and possums received the bulk of the testing at this highest level of suffering. 106,739 animals were killed, meaning 300 a day died.

A mere 9.7% of the animals were used for medical research purposes.

Agricultural production accounts for far more of the animals in experiments. Sheep and cattle received the brunt of the experiments, with 120,241 experimented on in 2014. 

“Many people have the perception that animal testing is being done for the ‘greater good’. This is most definitely not the case with the bulk of testing. For agricultural testing much of it is done to increase their productivity, such as milk yield. Not only must these animals suffer on the farm, but their bodies are continually pushed to new levels of production,” says SAFE campaigns officer Shanti Ahluwalia. 

Fish were another common target of the experiments, with 40,555 used.

Less than 0.1% of the animals used were for experiments to find alternatives.

“Most years, the Ministry for Primary Industries likes to boast about a “decrease” in animal testing, but the reality is that many animals do not make it into the reports.  For longer projects, a three-year cycle means that animal testers can hide their use of animals two out of three years. In 2014, the three-year cycle meant that the truth came out – far too many animals are still suffering in laboratories,” says Shanti.

SAFE would like to see all animal testing phased out, and for the government to take a stronger stance to make this happen faster. 

But right now, there is something you can do. Though cosmetics testing on animals is now illegal in New Zealand, products are still coming in from overseas.  By boycotting cosmetics tested on animals, you can take a stand against animal testing.


Download the SAFEshopper app now, to ensure you are not buying products tested on animals overseas.

17 February 2016