PHOTOS: PETA Demands Eli Lilly Ban Cruel Near-Drowning Test
Today, a PETA supporter dressed as a laboratory beaker led a socially distanced protest outside Eli Lilly’s Bracknell research and development centre urging the pharmaceutical giant to ban the cruel forced swim test.
The “beaker” and other protesters pointed out that the company has terrified 3,400 mice and rats in the test since 1993 and called for an immediate end to this abuse.
The Forced Swim Test Is Terrifying for Rats and Mice
In the widely discredited test, small animals are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water and made to swim to keep from drowning. The panicked animals attempt to escape by trying to climb up the sides of the beaker or even diving underwater in search of an exit.
Just imagine how terrifying this is for them. They paddle furiously, trying to keep their heads above water, until eventually they start to float. Experimenters compare the time spent swimming and floating, making the absurd assumption that these kinds of behaviour somehow relate to the psychological states of humans with mental illness.
The Test Is Bad Science
The test has been heavily criticised by scientists who argue that floating is not a sign of depression or despair, as some have previously stated, but rather a positive indicator of learning, saving energy, and adapting to a new environment.
Ultimately, the test is not a reliable tool for learning about human mental illness, and its use can hinder scientific progress.
Top Pharmaceutical Companies Have Banned the Test
Eli Lilly needs to accept that nearly drowning mice or rats says nothing about human depression or other neurobehavioural conditions. It must follow the lead of other major pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bayer, Roche, and AstraZeneca and ban this useless test.
What You Can Do
Eli Lilly has refused to implement a ban on this cruel and useless test. Contact the company with just a quick click of a button to let it know that experiments on animals are unethical and a waste of both resources and lives.