Target: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
Goal: Remove dissections from all first-year university courses in New Zealand
Universities in New Zealand have come under scrutiny from animal rights groups over the number of animals being killed in experiments used in classes. A significant number of these dissections and vivisections are performed by first-year students who ultimately go on to change their area of study, making the death of the animal unnecessary. This needs to stop immediately so that thousands of lives will be saved from painful experiments and death.
Roughly 10,000 animals died at the University of Auckland last year, according to figures supplied to the Ministry of Primary Industries. Nearly 12,500 were killed at Otago University, including mice, rats, rabbits, sheep, pigs, chickens, fish, squid, and crabs. An Auckland University animal rights group wants the number reduced by 20 percent, experimentation removed from first-year papers, and for students to be allowed to opt out of experiments without it harming their grade. A second-year biomedical student at the University of Aukland said it was made clear to her that she had to perform the experiments or fail. “I don’t want to be labelled ‘the difficult kid’ but I think the use of animals — in first year in particular — is excessive,” she said. “So many students go on and change their studies after first year.”
Use of animals in experimentation has been a significant subject in New Zealand during the past year as the country considered allowing legal highs to be tested on animals. Recently, however, Prime Minister John Key dismissed any animal testing on these products. New Zealand has taken significant steps during the past year to improve animal welfare and reduce experimentation on animals. With enough pressure, a dramatic reduction in dissection in universities could be a reality.
Please sign the petition below and demand that New Zealand cut down on the number of animal deaths in its universities.
Dear Prime Minister Key,
Universities in New Zealand have recently received a great deal of criticism for the number of animals they kill each year for experiments – tens of thousands. These numbers are outrageous considering the number of students who ultimately end up changing their area of study, and also because many of these students are forced to perform the experiments or else risk compromising their degree.
Please do something immediately to reduce the number of animals used in experiments, including eliminating dissections for first-year students and allowing students to refuse to do dissections without it affecting their grades.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: robandstephanielevy via Flickr