Those testing on animals should have to care for them afterwards, advocates say

The New Zealand Anti Vivisection Society is calling for a law requiring those who experiment on animals to try to find homes for them after they are used.

Spokesperson Tara Jackson, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said New Zealand organisations used about 300,000 animals for research, testing and teaching in 2015, and of those about 88,000 died during or after testing.

Ms Jackson said it was a "small ask" for the government to introduce legislation requiring people testing on animals to be responsible for their welfare afterwards.

"It's in New Zealand law now that animals are sentient - it's about time we started treating them that way - not like they are disposable pieces of lab equipment," Ms Jackson said.

"Animals are used in New Zealand for such a wide variety of experiments, and yes, it may be impossible to re-home some animals because of the level of invasiveness of the research done, but what we're asking for is that facilities should have to at least try."

Ms Jackson said her organisation had consulted with non-kill animal shelter organisation Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), and that the were happy to be the first point of contact for organisations looking to be responsible for their test animals.

"We use a really wide variety of animals here," Ms Jackson said.

"The most commonly-used animal is actually cows, then mice ... we use a lot of fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats ... we still use dogs and cats in New Zealand as well."

"We need the government to step in."

Tara Jackson of the New Zealand Anti Vivisection Society says animals should not be treated like "disposable pieces of lab equipment". Source: Breakfast