SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Alternatives to Animal Testing and Experimentation

Millions of animals every year are still subjected to painful and distressing experiments which involve unnecessary repetitions, scientifically trivial ends, or techniques for which satisfactory, humane alternatives exist that do not use live animals.

The SPCA believes that live animals should never be used in experiments if there is a suitable humane alternative that can achieve the same or more appropriate aims.

Replacing animals in experiments does not mean putting human patients at risk and does not mean that medical progress is halted. Instead, using alternatives to animals in research, testing and teaching is often more likely to improve the quality as well as the humaneness of our scientific and medical understanding and growth.

Like us, animals are sentient beings who think, feel, and experience emotions. So, experimentation can have significant harmful effects on animals’ physical and psychological well-being. In addition, the biology, genetics, psychology, and physical and emotional responses of most animals are not the same as humans, and so the effectiveness of many tests which seek to infer human outcomes remains questionable. Non-animal alternatives are often shown to produce far more reliable results.

Replacement techniques can include the use of cell, tissue and organ cultures, human tissue, or human volunteers. Interactive computer technology and extensive computer modelling is also enabling reliable non-animal alternatives in teaching and testing.

The SPCA supports the development of techniques that will result in the replacement, reduction, or refinement of the use live animals in experiments. In addition, we applaud and support groups, industries, and centres who seek to develop replacements for animals and explore alternative approaches that avoid animal use.

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