Photos: PETA ‘Scientists’ Dunk ‘Mice’ to Protest Forced Swim Test

Photos: PETA ‘Scientists’ Dunk ‘Mice’ to Protest Forced Swim Test

Bath – Today, ahead of World Day for Animals in Laboratories (24 April), a trio of PETA “scientists” made a splash in Bath’s city centre by dunking “mice” in beakers of water to denounce the University of Bath’s continued use of the widely discredited forced swim test. The action is part of PETA’s campaign to urge the university to reject the cruel test and embrace superior, non-animal research.

PETA has released video footage obtained from the university’s laboratories showing defenceless mice swimming for their lives in sheer-sided containers. Over the course of three years, experimenters there recorded more than 300 forced swim test videos.

In the test, mice and other small animals are placed in inescapable beakers of water and made to swim to keep from drowning. At some point, they stop swimming and start floating.

Experimenters compare the amount of time swimming and floating, purportedly to shed light on human depression and to screen antidepressant drugs. Yet the test has been heavily criticised by scientists who argue that floating is not a sign of depression or despair, as some claim, but rather a positive indicator of learning, saving energy, and adapting to a new environment. The experiment is about as predictive as a coin toss and causes hundreds of mice terror and distress.

“Unfortunately for the University of Bath, experts now agree that the forced swim test doesn’t hold water,” says PETA Science Policy Manager Dr Julia Baines. “PETA is calling on the university to stop looking towards terrified, soaked mice to cure human depression.”

PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and supports the use of scientifically and ethically sound testing methods that protect humans, animals, and the environment.

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