The dumping of dog bodies at Himatangi, as referred to in Dr Ian Schraa’s article [headlined] ‘Life and death code’ [KMN, January 10] was indeed to be deplored and there is no disputing that this was a most inappropriate method of an apparent emptying of a body storage freezer by persons unknown.
However, there were some inaccuracies in the article that are worth mentioning.
In particular, the news reporter spoke to the local body member not of the Valley Animal Research Centre (VARC) committee but of the Massey University animal ethics committee, who implied that, because he would have known of an equivalent VARC member, perhaps there wasn’t one.
In fact, although the VARC committee is currently not active, when the research highlighted on the television was carried out, the committee was indeed active and properly constituted.
Indeed, it had not only the three legislatively required external members but an extra one as well.
All of these, I am quite sure, would have been horrified at the dumping of the bodies.
For your information, the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) is an independent advisory committee to the Minister for Primary Industries and to animal ethics committees, not a division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF).
Neither does it ‘‘regulate ethics committees’’. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 is regulated by MAF, although NAEAC oversees the system. VIRGINIA WILLIAMS, NAEAC