Party pills will be tested on animals before they are allowed
to be sold because "human safety is ... paramount", Associate
Health Minister Peter Dunne says.
Under new regulations being proposed by the Government,
companies that produce the psychoactive drugs will be made to
prove they are safe.
Mr Dunne said the amount of testing on animals was still to
be decided but he ruled out using "the controversial" lethal
dose 50 per cent (LD50) test, where doses of a tested drug
are increased to a sample group of animals until half of them
"Human safety is the paramount consideration," Mr Dunne said
in a statement today, responding to criticism from animal
welfare groups and the Green Party that testing on animals,
including dogs, was "barbaric".
The SPCA says it will condemn any plans to test party pills
on animals, Newstalk ZB reports.
"To me, it's totally unnecessary to experiment on animals
with party pills," SPCA national president Bob Kerridge said.
"There's absolutely no justification for it, no matter which
way you look at it."
Mr Dunne said he had "a great deal of sympathy" for the view
that it was sad to test legal highs on animals as opposed to
testing necessary medicines.
"I understand that but I think we should see very different
questions if we do not test these products and someone dies,"
Mr Dunne said the Ministry of Health was "actively working on
finding alternatives to animal testing".
No decisions will be made without consulting with other
ministries and ethics groups, Mr Dunne said.
He said criticism from the Greens about testing on animals
was "ironic in the extreme".
"They need to take a long look at their own unrelenting
pro-drug history," Mr Dunne said.