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Leave Animals Out of Legal High Testing

This petition had 24,764 supporters


The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) has joined forces with SAFE and the RNZSPCA to prevent the testing of psychoactive drugs (“party pills” or “legal highs”) on animals.

These tests would involve suffering and cruelty to both large and small animals (rats and dogs) leading to pain, distress and death. Using animals as the subject of tests for recreational drugs is unethical and unnecessary.

NZAVS, SAFE and the RNZSPCA want the New Zealand Parliament to include a clause specifically prohibiting animal testing in any proposed legislation aimed at the regulation of these substances.


If you’re in New Zealand email NZAVS at for paper petition signature sheets and get your friends, family, workmates and acquaintances to sign them. You can add your signature to both the paper and online petition.

For more information visit:


What is the Government planning?

A Bill is being introduced to regulate the sale of low risk psychoactive drugs (“party pills” or “legal highs”) for recreational use. This will require safety testing. The final stage of the testing will require human trials. Some indication of the risk to people needs to be known before that stage. The main proposal the Ministry of Health (MoH) is considering requires four rounds of fatal animal tests to be carried out on both large and small animals (usually rats and dogs). For these tests the animals will be exposed to large doses of the drugs until adverse effects are found (acute toxicity); repeated long term exposure before being killed to allow internal examination; carcinogenicity and toxicokinetic tests (long term fatal tests that look at the drugs’ passage through the body).


Why oppose animal testing of recreational drugs?

Using animals as the subject of tests for recreational drugs is immoral and unethical; and not only that, it is also unnecessary. The UK has banned all use of animals for the toxicology testing of the recreational drugs tobacco and alcohol since the 1990s, Canada requires three toxicology tests for all tobacco products, none of which use animals.

Investigating the potential harm of these drugs does not require the use of animals. The very idea that animals could be used in this way and killed to facilitate the sale of recreational drugs is something to which the majority of New Zealanders are opposed. By signing the petition you can add your voice to this opposition.


What are the other options?

There are many types of tests available that serve the required purpose that do not use animals. Tests using cell cultures, bacteria and advanced computer modelling can provide all the information, and more, that animal tests do. For example, there are long established carcinogenicity tests that are in common use as they give better results than animal tests. There are non-animal tests that have been approved for use by many regulatory bodies internationally, including in both Europe and the US1, that can be used for all four types of tests the MoH is considering.


What else can I do to stop this happening?

Make a submission to the Select Committee considering the Bill. 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.

You can also email NZAVS for petition signature sheets and get your friends, family, workmates and acquaintances to sign them.

Peter Dunne is the Minister responsible for the legislation; you can let him know what you think about this issue by contacting him via email: or by post with no stamp required: Hon Peter Dunne / Parliament Office / Private Bag 18 888 / Wellington 6160.

Today: SAFE For Animals is counting on you

SAFE For Animals needs your help with “The New Zealand House of Representatives; Hon Peter Dunne: Leave Animals Out of Legal High Testing”. Join SAFE For Animals and 24,763 supporters today.