Re-homing of lab tested animals might become mandatory to save them from being put down

Politicians are considering whether to make the re-homing of lab tested animals mandatory to save them from being put down.

At the moment the re-homing of former research animals is left to ethics committees, but advocates now want to make it mandatory.

Campaigners say thousands of animals are needlessly killed every year.

In 2015, 225,310 animals were used in research in New Zealand and 88,200 of them died - but it's not clear how many were euthanised.

The other 137,110 lived - and were either kept by institutes, given to homes, or released into the wild.

MP's have been discussing it today, but are yet to make public their recommendation.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says while it likes the idea, it does not support a mandatory policy - saying the petition hasn't addressed the practicalities involved.

Politicians will report back on the issue in the next few days.

Politicians are considering bringing in the rule. Source: 1 NEWS

'It's a good thing' - Auckland Anglican vicar welcomes vote for same-sex blessings

The Anglican Church in New Zealand is a step closer to recognising same-sex relationships, after a clear majority of bishops voted to allow blessings for couples.

But there's criticism the ruling doesn't yet extend to allowing same-sex marriage.

"Some people see it as being crumbs at the table," says Reverend Helen Jacobi of St Matthew in the City.

"But I guess the pragmatics amongst us also see it as being a first step, so we've got to work with it. But being very clear that we're going to keep on working towards marriage."

Not everyone in the church agreed with the change, with two members of the general synod resigning over the vote.

Reverend Helen Jacobi of St Matthew in the City sees it as a first step towards same-sex marriages in NZ Anglican churches. Source: 1 NEWS


Shocking impact of passive smoking on young children highlighted in New Zealand study

Shocking findings in a new study show young children who have parents who smoke can have nicotine levels so high, they may as well be smoking themselves.

The study, by the University of Otago Christchurch analysed hair samples of hundreds of young children. The data collected eliminated the reliance on parents accurately reporting how much they smoke on a daily basis.

What they found, was irrefutable evidence that passive smoking had a huge impact on some of the 500, 15-month-old children in the study group.

Lead researcher and paediatrician Dr Philip Pattemore says: "The families who smoked, the nicotine levels in the children's hair it was significantly higher, some of them up as high as adults who smoked".

Twenty per cent of the mothers in the study smoked during pregnancy, half smoking throughout the entire pregnancy, and a third of the children were exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes.

Dr Pattemore says: "I think a lot of parents if they understood what was happening to their children as a result of the smoke wouldn't want a bar of it. I certainly hope that would be the case".

Children with high nicotine readings are twice as likely to have wheezing or asthma. That's why new mum Emma Fossey is so relieved to have quit four months into her pregnancy.

"If she did have anything like that in the future it would definitely make me feel guilty, that it was my fault, so I'm glad I stopped."

The study, funded by the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation is being welcomed by Asthma and Respiratory Foundation's Dr Adrian Trenholme.

"This is an important study and it reinforces what we know about smoking if you like. It's firmer scientific evidence smoking has a big impact on respiratory illness in kids," Dr Trenholme says.

Now it's hoped this evidence will increase funding to help parents stop smoking.

Dr Pattemore says: "It's not that we're trying to judge parents about doing it, it's just that we want to help them. We desperately want to help them to help their kids stay well."

The study found youngsters whose parents smoke can have nicotine levels so high they may as well be smokers. Source: 1 NEWS