PETA ‘Rat’ Gives Out Free Face Masks – With a Message
The action took place as COVID-19 cases rise again and the government is “strongly advising” that staff and students wear face coverings on university campuses. The masks feature an image of a rat trying desperately to stay afloat and highlight the plight of animals experimented on at the universities.
The masks take a jab at the University of Bristol and the University of Bath for refusing to ban the widely discredited forced swim test. We hope that kind people will help animals and keep themselves and others safe by wearing these face masks with pride.
What Is the Forced Swim Test?
In the forced swim test, experimenters place mice, rats, or other small animals – some of whom have been dosed with a test substance – in inescapable containers of water. The animals paddle furiously, trying to keep their heads above the water. Intermittently, they float.
Some experimenters say that the time it takes for an animal to float can be used to understand depression and other conditions in humans, 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, some universities, and major pharmaceutical companies turning their back on this cruel and worthless test, the University of Bristol and the University of Bath are refusing to ban it.
Take Action Now
Human depression has nothing to do with how long frantic animals can keep their heads above water. Take action to urge the universities to ban the cruel practice now:
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: