Photos: ‘Zombie Scientists’ Stampede Through University of Bristol Over Near-Drowning Test

Photos: ‘Zombie Scientists’ Stampede Through University of Bristol Over Near-Drowning Test

Bristol – Today, in honour of Halloween, a mob of PETA supporters dressed as brain-dead zombie scientists – complete with bloody lab coats, creepy contact lenses, and white face paint – swarmed Senate House to urge University of Bristol experimenters to use their brains, ban the cruel and useless forced swim test and other near-drowning experiments on small animals, and embrace modern, non-animal research.

More photos are available here.

In the widely criticised tests, experimenters induce panic in vulnerable small animals such as rats, who may or may not be dosed with a test substance before being dropped into inescapable cylinders of water and made to swim, terrified they will drown. They attempt to climb the steep sides of the container and even dive underwater to look for an escape. The test is done under the erroneous assumption it can reveal something about mental health conditions in humans. Once it’s complete, experimenters kill the animals – either by gassing, blunt force trauma to the head, an overdose of anaesthetic, or breaking their necks – to study their brains.

“PETA’s ‘zombies’ want to put the final nail in the forced swim test’s coffin,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “University of Bristol experimenters must drop these dead-end experiments and switch to superior, human-relevant methods before their brain-dead science  comes back to bite them.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]