Chrissie Hynde Urges University of Edinburgh to End Near-Drowning Tests on Animals

Chrissie Hynde Urges University of Edinburgh to End Near-Drowning Tests on Animals

Edinburgh – Before her first Queen’s Hall performance during Edinburgh Festival Fringe on 22 August, rock icon Chrissie Hynde fired off a letter on PETA’s behalf to Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, imploring him to end the university’s use of forced swim experiments.

“As a veteran rocker, I’m not shocked by much. But I was stunned – and horrified – to learn from PETA that the University of Edinburgh is still subjecting mice and rats to the cruel forced swim test, an experiment that’s been deep-sixed almost everywhere,” writes Hynde.

She goes on to explain that in the controversial experiments, small animals are placed in inescapable beakers of water and made to swim to keep from drowning, purportedly to shed light on human conditions such as depression and stress.

“Imagine doing that to a dog – or a baby, for that matter,” Hynde points out. “Your experimenters simply record how long these trapped, exhausted animals swim and float, which has f*** all to do with clinical depression. Scientists with common sense believe that relying on this flawed test could actually hinder the development of effective treatments for human conditions.”

Following discussions with PETA and its international affiliates, 14 companies and two universities, including King’s College London, have declared that they don’t intend to use the forced swim test, which they previously used for depression research, in the future. PETA is calling on the University of Edinburgh to follow suit.

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]