Never let a good conspiracy theory go to waste. New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz is spinning a conspiracy theory to make the case for their allies in the country’s animal rights movement. Like good Kool Aid drinkers they took the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society’s line hook, line, and sinker. Some people interviewed even suggested secretive committees are making decisions to intentionally harm animals used in medical tests while complaining about a lack of transparency. So there’s a conspiracy to cover-up the conspiracy? If this wasn’t so unbelievable, it would be laughable. It’s blatantly obvious this so-called news outlet employs political activists as journalists since, while there was an effort made to interview the other side of the issue, the parties involved clearly wouldn’t want to be interviewed because of the political ideology of the (ahem) journalists.
Death by committee: NZ’s ‘secretive’ animal testing regime
Rob Mitchell11:16, Mar 07 2020
It’s the end of the interview. Ministry for Primary Industries manager of animal welfare Kate Littin has spent the previous 30 minutes carefully describing the various steps through which her organisation oversees the care of animals in testing and research in this country.
Finally, she is asked if she is confident that MPI has adequate control of testing, and whether animal welfare is “being considered, looked after, monitored sufficiently”.
I wait, pen poised, expecting an affirmation of her own faith in a system she helps administer.
What I get, though, is a little surprising.
“Obviously, that’s our job, to be understanding what’s going on … global trends, New Zealand trends … what people expect and accept in the use of animals … and we continue to do our job as best we can …”
I interrupt. “Sorry, but that doesn’t answer the question: Are you comfortable that that’s being done?”
“All I can respond with,” she says, after a momentary hesitation, “is that we know what our job is, we set up a robust framework for implementing the Animal Welfare Act, we have what we believe is a robust monitoring regime and then also our compliance regime programme that underpins it …”
Littin’s caution is partly understandable. The use of animals in testing and research can be a controversial subject, with some extreme views on what can sometimes appear to be extreme acts in the name of science, research, business.
Late last year, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) revealed that, among a number of animals, 10 dogs were fed poisoned possum in a series of tests at Lincoln University. All survived but were later put down. And Victoria University has been in the media over its use of the forced swim test, in which mice are placed in water-filled containers, and their reaction to the threat of drowning observed as part of research into depression.
NZAVS claims many other animals have been killed or harmed in other “barbaric” experiments.
MPI’s most recent publicly released figures from 2016 show close to 300,000 animals are “manipulated” in this country for research, testing and teaching each year, with 15 per cent suffering moderate to high impact as part of that process, and rodents and rabbits taking the brunt of those impacts.
According to those figures, 98 per cent of mice used in testing died or were euthanised, 96 per cent of guinea pigs, 90 per cent of rabbits, 89 per cent of pigs, 87 per cent of rats and 75 per cent of possums.