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Testing synthetic cannabis on rats ‘won’t make it safe for humans’

No amount of testing on rats and dogs, who have biology very different from our own, is going to make it safe to take recreational drugs like synthetic cannabis.

ESTHER TAUNTON: ‘New Zealand’s “legal high” law doesn’t work, but testing on animals isn’t the answer and will be met with fierce resistance, opponents say. A review of the Psychoactive Substances Act found it “does not function as intended”, partly because of a ban on using animals for testing. Unless that ban was lifted, the law would not work, the review said. But animal rights groups say the ban was included in the Act after a public outcry and removing it would spark similar outrage.

Tara Jackson, executive director of the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society, said New Zealanders had defeated the previous government’s attempts to use animals in party pill testing and could do it again. “The very idea of testing party pills on animals is absurd,” she said. “No amount of testing on rats and dogs, who have biology very different from our own, is going to make it safe to take recreational drugs like synthetic cannabis.”

The Act was passed in 2013 to regulate products containing psychoactive substances and allow those proven to have a low risk of harm into the market. An amendment the following year included a ban on animal testing after a petition of more than 60,000 signatures was presented to Parliament and public protests were held around the country. Animal rights group Helping You Help Animals organised and led many of the protests and its members were prepared to take up the cause again, director Carolyn Press-McKenzie said’. SOURCE…

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