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Information For New Zealand Teachers, Science Technicians and Students

All animals need to be cared for and treated with respect at all times as they are sentient living things. Everyone has a legal obligation to provide  animals in their care with all of their needs – food and water, shelter, the opportunity to behave normally, to be handled carefully by people,  and to ensure/maintain their good health.


These legal requirements exist to protect the animals with whom we interact. This includes making sure that our pets are treated well, that farm animals are taken care of and that our native species are not exploited. In New Zealand the use of animals in research, testing and teaching is controlled by the Animal Welfare Act 1999. This legislation is designed to protect animals in New Zealand from harmful or inhumane treatment. It covers our obligations to care for animals, who can conduct surgical procedures on animals, animal exports, humane treatment of wild animals, and codes of welfare.


The Three Rs

The Three Rs are important animal welfare principles that guide the way we interact with animals. ANZCCART promotes and encourages the implementation of these principles when interacting with animals. These three principles are:



Where possible, alternatives to using animals must be found. Recent developments have meant that physical and computer models and cell cultures can be used rather than animals.



When animals must be used in research, testing and teaching, the minimum number of animals should be used. However, care must be taken to ensure that the number of animals involved is sufficient to provide high quality data that is statistically sound.



The animals used in research, testing and teaching should not suffer. Their health and well-being are the highest priority when planning any experiment or investigation. We need to ensure that as we carry out an experiment or investigation, or are housing animals in a classroom, they are able to live normally (thinking about what it eats, drinks, where it lives and sleeps, and what it does).



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