We caught up with Mandy Carter of SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) back in 2014, one year after her organisation won the Lush Public Awareness Prize.
Could you describe who you are and what you do?
SAFE, originally founded back in 1932 on the issue of animal testing, is New Zealand’s most proactive animal charity and only national animal rights organisation with staffed offices. SAFE believes in a world where animals are understood and respected in such a way that they are no longer exploited, abused or made to suffer.
Known as Save Animals from Experiments since the 1970s, as SAFE began working on other aspects of animal cruelty we became Save Animals from Exploitation. Although the name changed, SAFE’s commitment to putting an end to animal testing has never wavered. SAFE is determined that the plight of laboratory animals in New Zealand, and indeed those that are suffering elsewhere for testing, will not be ignored.
Why were you nominated for the prize?
SAFE was nominated for our public awareness work, which includes:
· Pushing for a ban on Psychoactive substances (Party pill animal testing)
· SAFE Shopper (SAFE’s online cruelty free guide)
· Cosmetics testing ban work in New Zealand
Why did you win the prize?
For publicising the use of animal-testing in national drugs regulation (party pills) and helping consumers to buy cruelty-free products.
What difference has winning the prize made to your contribution to the goal of the ‘three R’s (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement)?
The money gave a significant boost to SAFE’s campaign against animal testing in 2014. This year we have helped achieve the ban on party pill testing on animals, featured animal testing for World Day for Animals in Laboratories, and worked on our cosmetics campaign further. In particular the prize money has enabled us to develop new and exciting ways to create consumer awareness about cosmetics testing.
Could you outline how your work overlaps with current governmental policy?
We are currently working on a ban on cosmetics testing on animals within the ‘Animal Welfare Act’ legislation. This involves, amongst other things, working with MP’s to develop and publicise wording that we would like to see included in the new act for a ban on cosmetics testing.
What did winning the Lush Prize mean to you?
SAFE was proud to be awarded the Lush Prize for ‘Public Awareness’ campaigning. It gave us a great boost in terms of ability to do more moving forward, and it was also fantastic to receive recognition for our work helping animals. Thanks so much to the team at Lush.
How will you continue in your field, to fight against animal testing?
We have several plans coming up, one of which includes a new way for consumers to help in the fight against cosmetic testing.