PETA ‘Rat’ Stands Against Bad Forced Swim Test Science

Posted by on September 23, 2021 | Permalink

A scurrying “rat” led PETA supporters to Bristol Bridge to watch us drop a giant banner over the north-side railings to rail against the University of Bristol’s use of the forced swim test.

James Beck

James Beck

Why Drop the Banner in Bristol?

The banner is part of our campaign to urge the University of Bristol to reject the cruel forced swim test and embrace superior, non-animal research.

forced swim test

What is the Forced Swim Test?

In this widely discredited test, experimenters place rats into inescapable beakers of water and watch them swim for their lives on the assumption that the time it takes for the animals to stop swimming and start floating can tell us something about clinical depression in humans.

The University of Bristol Must Ban This Bad Science

Watching rats gasp and scramble inside glass containers is cruel and worthless “science”.

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.

Even experts from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency recognise that the test is not a useful model of human depression and is not required for screening potential new antidepressant treatments.

James Beck

Take Action

Nearly drowning rats teaches us nothing about human depression.

We’re calling on the University of Bristol to ban the forced swim test in favour of advanced, animal-free research methods that might actually help human patients.

Join us in sending the university a message: