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No animal testing for synthetic cannabis: New Zealand PM

Posted on May 05 2014 | IANS

Sydney, May 5 : New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key Monday ruled out testing legal drugs, including synthetic cannabis, on animals, days after parliament banned the drugs' sale until proven as low-risk.

Key said the department of health told him that the tests would have to be done on other species like rabbits as well to see whether the drugs were low-risk for humans.

"As far as I'm concerned if a product needs to be animal tested and is the only way for the Health Department to confirm it is low-risk, then it cannot be manufactured in New Zealand," Key told local channel TVNZ.

"It's one thing to test it on an animal if you are developing a life saving drug for cancer, but it's quite a different issue for a recreational drug," the prime minister added.

New Zealand's government is pushing through a legislation urgently this week to ban the usage of legal highs until proven low-risk for human consumption.

The opposition Labour Party had submitted a petition with 40,000 signatures asking the government to ban animal testing for legal highs.

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