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5-Animals: Fewer GM animals in NZ testing

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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Fewer GM animals in NZ testing
SOURCE:, New Zealand,1227,115943-1-7,00.html
DATE:   July 13, 2002

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Fewer GM animals in NZ testing

There has been a significant drop in the number of genetically modified 
animals used in science in New Zealand. The latest statistics from the 
National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee show that last year about 1500 GM 
animals were used in research, testing or teaching. That number is down 
from about 5000 in 2001; the lowest level in five years.

The Ministry of Agriculture's Animal Welfare director, Dr David Bayvel, 
sees the current debate over genetic modification as a factor in that 
reduction. Bayvel says the use of genetically modified animals in science 
is on a very small scale here, compared with Europe and North America. The 
statistics also show a 65% drop in the number of animals that experienced 
severe or very severe suffering in the name of science last year, after an 
increase in the year 2000.

Bayvel says that relates mainly to the research and production activities 
of animal health companies. Overall, 320,000 animals were used in research, 
testing and teaching in the past year; a 2% drop. Bayvel says while that is 
not significant, researchers are continuing to make progress in developing 
alternative tests for vaccines and other products that do not require the 
use of animals. He says great steps have also been made in the use of 
computers instead of animals in agricultural and veterinary teaching.


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