Italy Bans All Animal Testing of Recreational Drugs
The Italian Lower house of Parliament last week approved, with a large majority, sweeping new restrictions on the use of
animals in research, testing and teaching. While still to be passed by the Upper house Italy is showing they are leading
the way globally towards ending the use of animals in testing and experiments.
One of the new restrictions is a total ban on all animal tests on ‘substances of abuse’; this covers alcohol, tobacco
and all other recreational drugs. If Italy introduces legislation similar to the Psychoactive Substances Act no animal
testing will be allowed. Other moves include a ban on the breeding of dogs, cats and primates for experimentation.
The UK Home Office has confirmed that the ban on animals being used for safety testing for alcohol and tobacco will
extend to all other recreational drugs. Judy MacArthur, Head of the Animals in Science Regulation Unit, said of the UK
ban “The same would apply to any recreational drugs”. The move by the Italian government though goes further than the UK
ban on safety testing as it also stops the use of animals in research on addiction.
Despite major public opposition to animal testing the New Zealand government recently refused to ban its use by legal
high manufacturers trying to prove their products are of low risk. “By insisting that animal testing of legal highs be
allowed the New Zealand government is showing is well behind the world in policy on animal testing” says Stephen Manson
of the NZ Anti-Vivisection Society.
On the day of the vote in Italy Green MP Mojo Mathers launched a members’ bill to stop the testing of legal highs on
animals. “We have one more chance to stop the requirement of animal testing under the Psychoactive Substances Act.
Animal testing results are misleading and can be easily manipulated to favour those paying for them. Allowing animal
tests only helps the drugs manufacturers. We hope that for the sake of the people to be exposed to these drugs, and for
the animals that will give their lives, that Mojo’s bill gets drawn from the ballot soon” Mr Manson went on to say.
Quote from Judy MacArthur from email released under the OIA and included in NZAVS submission on page 48