MPs Focus On Animal Testing

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 — 6:07 PM

Debate on a bill regulating psychoactive substances centred around animals being used to test their safety

Labour’s Ian Lees-Galloway said in the debate on the first part of the Psychoactive Substances Bill , that the part defined psychoactive substances and also included reference to the use of animals to test whether the substances were safe.

The bill was about reducing the harm from drugs and not attempt to ban them.

There had been a long debate in select committee on defining psychoactive substances and the issue had tested officials, but Galloway believed the bill had it right.

National’s Paul Hutchinson said the bill imposed a rigorous testing standard to things like party pills similar to that which medicines had to go through.

The Minister in charge of the Bill, Todd McClay, said he did not believe animal testing would take place, but he could not rule it out. The bill was a compromise which would reduce considerable harm to people and limit the potential for testing on animals.

ACT MP John Banks said he could not support the bill while it included any possibility of animal testing and unusually he would not be voting with National.

Amendments proposed by the Greens to ban animal testing were defeated with 61 to 51 with National, Peter Dunne and Brendon Horan opposing, with NZ First abstaining.

Debate on the bill continues.

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