National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee advice and reports

Comment on rehoming animals after use

Approximately two thirds of animals used for research, testing, and teaching remain alive after use. Of these, almost 80% are returned to their owners or transferred to others.

The Out of the Labs petition called for the Government to amend the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to make it mandatory to consider rehoming as an alternative to euthanasia for research animals. To meet the intent of the petition, NAEAC doesn’t consider it necessary to amend the Act.

NAEAC has advised animal ethics committees and code holders that there are options for rehoming animals, and that the New Zealand Anti-vivisection Society and Helping You Help Animals have offered to be points of contact for organisations and researchers who have animals appropriate for rehoming.

NAEAC has updated the Good practice guide for the use of animals in research, testing and teaching to include guidance for rehoming.

Good-Practice-Guide-Jan-2022.pdf pdf 905KB

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has developed voluntary guidelines on the rehoming of animals used for scientific purposes.

Research animal rehoming guidelines – NSW Department of Primary Industries

Comment on petition to ban the forced swim test in New Zealand

On 7 October 2019, Parliament received a petition calling for a ban on forced swim tests. The petition was referred to Parliament’s Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee. The select committee issued its report on 10 March 2020 which stated: "We do not believe legislation is necessary to end the use of the Forced Swim Test. The test is used infrequently in New Zealand, and we heard that its use in academic studies is not likely to continue into the future.

"We also acknowledge the call for a formal review and evaluation on the validity of all animal based psychological tests used in New Zealand. While we cannot recommend a full review at this time, we encourage the validity of animal testing to be continuously examined."

Find out more about the petition and the report – NZ Parliament

NAEAC supports the select committee’s findings and encourages animal ethics committees to carefully evaluate all applications. This includes considering the validity and impact of manipulations. Those involved in research, testing, or teaching should always consider alternatives, and many organisations, including NAEAC, can provide guidance with this.

NAEAC annual reports

NAEAC produces an annual report which covers the work of the committee.

2020-NAEAC-annual-report.pdf pdf 548KB Browse for older annual reports

Who to contact

If you have any questions about NAEAC, email naeac@mpi.govt.nz

Last reviewed: 18 Nov 2021