PETA Offers Bristol Swimming Pool Cash Injection in Exchange for ‘Forced Swim Test’ Banner

PETA Offers Bristol Swimming Pool Cash Injection in Exchange for ‘Forced Swim Test’ Banner

Bristol – Following reports that the Kingsdown Sports Centre is struggling to stay afloat, PETA has rushed off a letter to the mayor of Bristol offering to pay to place a banner alongside the pool that reads, “Shame on University of Bristol. Ban the forced swim test NOW. The ‘science’ doesn’t hold water.”

The banner would be part of PETA’s campaign to urge the University of Bristol to reject this cruel experiment and embrace superior, non-animal research.

In the widely discredited forced swim test, experimenters place small animals into inescapable beakers of water, where they paddle frantically in search of an escape, on the erroneous assumption that the time it takes for the animals to stop swimming and start floating can tell us something about depression and other conditions in humans.

“PETA’s banner would make a splash, while bringing in much-needed funding for Kingsdown Sports Centre and keeping the pressure on the University of Bristol to end its use of the cruel forced swim test,” writes PETA Vice President Mimi Bekhechi. “If you agree, PETA will throw in a bonus: free waterproof face masks for the sports centre’s patrons, featuring a message against the forced swim test.”

A recent scientific review initiated by the Home Office cites PETA’s work with organisations to abandon the test and calls for researchers to seek alternative methods for screening potential new antidepressant drugs, making it clear that the test could hinder the discovery of effective new drugs for humans.

Following discussions with PETA entities, 15 companies and two universities, including King’s College London, have declared that they don’t intend to use the forced swim test for depression research in the future. Last month, British icon Joanna Lumley joined PETA’s campaign, sending a letter to the university’s vice chancellor urging him to end these “ghastly” tests.

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


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