University of Bath Event: PETA Debates With Pro–Animal Testing Group
PETA scientist Dr Julia Baines has gone head to head with a representative of pro–animal testing group Understanding Animal Research to answer students’ questions about the forced swim test.
The event, which took place on Tuesday, 2 November, was promoted by three student societies at the University of Bath – the debating society, the philosophy society, and People & Planet.
By the end of the debate, there was overwhelming opposition from the audience to conducting the forced swim test at UK universities.
Why Did PETA Join the University of Bath Debate?
In the forced swim test, experimenters place mice, rats, or other small animals in inescapable containers of water. The animals paddle furiously, trying to keep their heads above the water. Intermittently, they float.
Some experimenters say that this test can be used to screen drugs for antidepressant properties, but this simply is not true.
The test has been heavily criticised by scientists who argue that floating is not a sign of despair, as some claim, but rather a positive indicator of learning, saving energy, and adapting to a new environment.
Despite students, other universities, and major pharmaceutical companies all turning their back on this cruel and worthless test, the University of Bath is refusing to ban it.
PETA was given the opportunity by students at the University of Bath to explain why the test should be banned – for the sake of animals and humans.
Take Action Against the Forced Swim Test
You don’t need to have attended the debate to know that the forced swim test is bad science. Please help mice and rats now by speaking out and taking four quick actions:
If you’re a student at the University of Bath or the University of Bristol and want to take part in activism at future events like this one, sign up to our Forced Swim Test Action Team: