Dogs shouldn't die so humans can get high.
The NEW ZEALAND government wants to change the law so that manufacturers of legal recreational drugs have to prove they are safe. Currently regulators have to prove they are unsafe.
The change has sparked an uproar over methods of testing the drugs.
Associate Health Minister - Mr Dunne said he has ruled out a controversial LD50 animal test whereby doses are given to a sample group of animals until half of the test group dies.
"It is a horrible test," Mr Dunne said on Sunday.
New Zealand every year uses hundreds of thousands of animals in biological, medical or veterinary research; testing; production of biological agents; teaching and environmental management.
Last year, 327,674 animals were used this way. These included 978 cats, 39 of whom suffered "high impact" as a result. More than 20,000 fish were used, with 3128 suffering "very high impact," while 70,608 mice were subjected to these practices and 11,365 suffered "very high impact".
Other animals who suffered very high impacts were guinea pigs, rats, pigs and sheep. More than 1000 dogs were used, as were more than 1000 reptiles and 659 horses.
Over the past five years, the number of animals exploited this way has been rising, rather than falling. In 2007, it was 246,667, climbing to 341,520 in 2008 and being less than 300,000 in 2009 and 2010 before increasing to 327,674 last year.
Between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of animals who died or were euthanased as a result of their use ranged from 55 per cent in 2009 to 37 per cent last year.
Before this, the number of animals used in research had peaked in 1994 before dropping to 160,000 in 1995. When the number increased to 325,000 in 2001, it was reported as "skyrocketing". But the 2001 figure was actually lower than the number of animals exploited last year.
There is simply no need for animals to suffer in this way.
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