New Zealand launches an Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching

26 July 2021

Posted by: UAR news team

Category: News

New Zealand will be the first country outside Europe with an animal research openness agreement, launched today in Queenstown at the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) 2021 conference.

New Zealand has long been committed to maintaining and improving high standards of animal welfare, as well as undertaking world-leading research and teaching using animals, controlled under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Understanding Animal Research has been delighted to help support the development of the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in New Zealand, which is modelled on the UK’s Concordat on Openness on Animal Research. Its objective is to ensure that the public are well informed about animal research including the benefits, harms, and limitations.

21 universities, institutes of technology, non-profits, Crown Research Institutes, government organisations, umbrella bodies, research funding organisations and learned societies have committed to communicate openly about animal use.

These 21 signatories have formally agreed to the Openness agreement’s five commitments:

1.    We will be clear about why and how we use animals in research and teaching
2.    We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our use of animals in research and teaching
3.    We will enhance our communications with tangata whenua about our use of animals in research and teaching
4.    We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research and teaching using animals
5.    We will report on progress annually and share our experiences

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Juliet Gerrard said,

“In Aotearoa New Zealand the carefully regulated use of animals in research and
teaching remains essential for vital discoveries aimed at improving the health and well-being of humans and animals, protecting our native wildlife and natural environment and generating important new advancements in science.

The undertaking of animal research requires an open dialogue and partnership with the public who deserve to be well informed about why, when, and how animals are used in research, the regulations that control this research, and our commitments
to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research.

The Openness Agreement is a significant step in this direction and includes a public pledge to declare the nature of research undertaken and the justification for it, as well as commitments to enhancing communication and proactively providing
opportunities for public engagement.”

About ANZCAART

Understanding Animal Research member organisation ANZCCART is an independent body which was established to provide a focus for consideration of the scientific, ethical and social issues associated with the use of animals in research and teaching in Australia and New Zealand.

ANZCCART (NZ) is a special committee of Royal Society Te Apārangi.

A copy of Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in New Zealand is available from https://anzccart.org.nz/business-consultancy-on-the-edge/openness-agreement/