SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Housing and Handling

Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching

SPCA supports continuous improvements in animal management practices so that they better meet the physical, health, and behavioural needs of animals used in research, testing, and teaching.

SPCA advocates for all animals to be kept in environments that meet their physical, health, and behavioural needs.

All housing standards must include animal-based measures for any animal used in research, testing, and teaching to meet their physical and health needs and to also perform their behavioural repertoires.

An enrichment programme must be implemented and monitored to ensure the animal’s used in research, testing, and teaching have their species-specific and individual physical, health, and behavioural needs met.

SPCA supports the use of low-stress force-free handling and training methods that considers both the species and individual needs of the animal to minimise negative welfare impacts. Methods of low-stress handling include habituating animals to handling, using equipment (such as rodent tunnels) to move animals that prevents contact with people, and using positive reinforcement to encourage animals to participate in any manipulation when possible. Animals must not be chased or restrained tightly to where they cannot breathe properly or they suffer physical harms.

SPCA opposes housing standards that include only resource-based measures such as cage size to meet the welfare needs of any animal used in research, testing, and teaching.

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