In New Zealand, animals are used for research, testing, and teaching (RTT) for a variety of reasons. Animals may be used in experiments to find new health treatments for humans or other animals, to better understand wildlife behaviour such as migration routes, to test the safety of a new drug, or to facilitate learning outcomes for students.
SPCA is a founding signatory of the Australia New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals used in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in New Zealand. The Openness Agreement promotes greater transparency in animal-based research and teaching, encourages communication between the public and research and teaching institutions that use animals, and drives continuous improvements in animal care to ensure the highest standards of welfare for animals used in research and teaching.
There are five commitments that characterise the ANZCCART Openness Agreement:
- Commitment 1: We will be clear about why and how we use animals in research and teaching.
- Commitment 2: We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our use of animals in research and teaching.
- Commitment 3: We will enhance our communications with tangata whenua about our use of animals in research and teaching.
- Commitment 4: We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research and teaching using animals.
- Commitment 5: We will report on progress annually and share our experiences.
SPCA advocates for increased transparency for how animals are obtained, held, or used in research, testing, and teaching facilities.
We support institutions, organisations, and companies that use animals in RTT to provide publicly available information about their use of animals through different platforms such as a website, social or traditional media announcements, and opportunities for members of the public to ask questions or provide comments.
SPCA permits the use of SPCA animals in research and teaching if the activity is part of routine animal care or procedure, or if the activity provides a net benefit to that animal and future SPCA animals.
Our organisation has approval under an animal ethics committee to use SPCA animals for staff training and animal care qualifications.