Trevor Mallard was on the offensive but the skittery puppy by his side distracted the old attack dog, and any mention of extinct, flightless birds was quickly dismissed.
The Labour animal welfare spokesman chose the Wadestown Veterinary Clinic in Wellington to launch an initiative aimed at ensuring no cosmetics sold in this country will have been tested on animals. "We think it's just unacceptable to test cosmetics on animals. There's no need for it," Mallard said.
He noted the animal testing of cosmetics was already banned in this country, and said the new policy would not affect most of the big cosmetic brands used here.
The venue for the announcement had been deliberately chosen to be in the Ohariu electorate of UnitedFuture's Peter Dunne, Mallard said.
Dunne, the Associate Health Minister, played a leading role in moves in May to remove interim approvals for 41 psychoactive substances, and to ban the testing of such substances on animals.
Labour took credit for the animal testing ban and said it had forced the Government into a U-turn, after a petition to stop animal testing for legal highs gained 40,000 signatures in 48 hours. Dunne was "badly out of touch", Mallard said yesterday.
He brought his four-month-old Australian shepherd Violet to the cosmetic testing announcement and spent some minutes posing with the puppy. Violet looked a little perturbed but the clinic cat was unmoved on the foyer counter.
Mallard was asked about his recent comments that moa could be brought back from extinction in 50 to 100 years. "She [Violet] won't be around in 100 years," he said. "Nor will I."
The Labour initiative would be restricted to cosmetics, toiletries and fragrance. It would not affect medicine
The European Union had restricted the sale and importation of animal-tested products last year.
- The Dominion Post