Labour MPs briefed by animal welfare science team

Professor Craig Johnson (left) explains the testing equipment to MPs Iain Lees-Galloway and Megan Woods.

Members of Parliament from Palmerston North and Wigram visited Massey University’s Manawatū campus yesterday and were hosted by staff of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre.

Labour spokeswoman for science and innovation and research and development Dr Megan Woods was accompanied by local MP Iain Lees-Galloway.

She met staff of the centre, which is part of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, who discussed the work they are doing providing science-based and ethical advice and education and solutions on animal welfare issues.

Staff involved included group leader and centre co-director Professor Craig Johnson, deputy director Dr Ngaio Beausoleil, technical director Neil Ward and team member Dr Preet Singh, who discussed aspects of their work.

Dr Woods said she was struck by the interplay between regulation and the scientific work being done by the Massey researchers. “That’s why it’s really important that we’ve got the fundamental science and invest in the science in those areas that we need to ensure that we can keep up with the regulatory changes we need to make.” She said she had recently returned to the science and innovation portfolio and was trying to visit as many scientists as possible and catch up on their concerns. Her party favoured research and development tax credits in preference to funding grants. “We think you’re more likely to get industry to invest in science that way. And we need to boost that investment.”

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