Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) yesterday said it supports the rehoming of lab animals as an alternative to euthanasia.
On the MPI website, it also said it is working with the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee to develop initiatives to support rehoming.
"The Animal Welfare Act 1999 does not prevent rehoming of animals used in research, testing and teaching," MPI said. "MPI supports research, testing and teaching organisations considering rehoming laboratory animals as an alternative to euthanasia, where appropriate and in the interests of the animal."
It comes after a petition from the New Zealand Anti-vivisection Society (NZAVS) and Helping You Help Animals which asked the Government in April 2017 to make rehoming consideration required as an alternative to euthanasia by amending the Animal Welfare Act.
The Primary Production Select Committee rejected the petition, NZAVS said.
NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson said they were "confident that this announcement is genuine and that we will see MPI work independently and with us to fulfill this promise and actively support the rehoming of ex-lab animals in NZ".