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Commonwealth Games


Animal rights lobby plans protest at lab caregivers conference

Tuesday 01 Sep 2009 12:00a.m.

Animal rights lobby plans protest at lab caregivers conference

A Wellington gathering of the caregivers who look after animals used in scientific research has not been disrupted by protests staged by anti-vivisection protestors, says one of its organisers.

Protesters have said they plan a street protest tomorrow night.

Malcolm France, president of the Australia and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association (ANZSLAA) said the conference at the Duxton Hotel was continuing.

"The protestors have not disrupted our conference," he told NZPA.

Mr France said the conference was for the people who looked after animals, not scientists, and most of the group's member had formal qualifications in animal care.

"It is inevitable that animals will continue to be used in research for the foreseeable future so it is important there are people who are dedicated to providing the best possible care," he said.

The conference included presentations on training of animal carers, improving animal housing standards and prevention of pain in animals.

A spokesman for the Wellington Animal Rights Network, Mark Eden, alleged the people at the conference were "directly responsible" for the deaths of thousands of animals in laboratories around the country.

"They should not be allowed to walk the streets and have conferences where they admire the surgery tools and cages on display, and talk about how they can improve their animal killing techniques".

Sydney-based Mr France said that as long as animals continued to be used in research, it was important that there were people with specialised skills in caring for them.




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