Huge News! King’s College London Ends Use of Forced Swim Test on Mice and All Other Animals

Posted by on January 10, 2020 | Permalink

Huge news! King’s College London has become the first-ever academic institution to declare that it has stopped subjecting mice and other animals to the cruel forced swim test.

PETA provided King’s with evidence about the forced swim test, and we’re delighted that the university has confirmed it doesn’t intend to conduct the test on any species going forward.

King’s is the first institution of higher learning, to PETA’s knowledge, to make this scientifically and ethically sound choice. In the widely discredited test – which is typically conducted in an attempt to study human depression – mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are forced into inescapable beakers filled with water, as shown in the footage below.

In these near-drowning experiments, the panicked animals try to escape by attempting to climb up the sides of the beakers or even diving underwater in search of an exit. They paddle furiously, desperately trying to keep their heads above water.

Experimenters time how long it takes for them to stop struggling and begin to float, arguing that those who swim for less time are in a state of “despair”. The test has been heavily criticised by scientists who argue that floating is not a sign of depression or despair, as some others claim, but rather a positive sign of learning, conserving energy, and adapting to a new environment. Ultimately, the test is an extremely poor predictor of whether a drug will work to treat depression in humans.

King’s joins Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, AbbVie, Roche, AstraZeneca, and other top pharmaceutical companies in banning the forced swim test after talks with PETA and our affiliates.

Now, PETA is encouraging King’s to carry this momentum into other areas of animal experimentation – and calling for other universities to follow its lead by banning the forced swim test.

What You Can Do

Please call on Eli Lilly to ban the forced swim test: