University of Bath’s Near-Drowning Tests on Mice Prompt PETA V-Day Delivery

University of Bath’s Near-Drowning Tests on Mice Prompt PETA V-Day Delivery

Bath – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a box of delicious mouse-shaped vegan chocolates is on its way from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to the vice chancellor of the University of Bath to encourage him to have a heart and end the institution’s use of mice in the forced swim test. The delivery is part of to push the university to reject the cruel and widely debunked test and embrace superior, non-animal research.

In the forced swim 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 time spent swimming and floating, on the absurd assumption that this can tell us something about the psychological states of humans Yet the test has been heavily criticised by experts 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.

“This isn’t the first time the University of Bath is hearing from PETA about the forced swim test, and it won’t be the last – but it’s definitely the sweetest,” says PETA Science Policy Manager Dr Julia Baines. “We’re playing nice for mice in the hope that it convinces the university to show some love for animals and science by ditching this flawed test.”

PETA has released video footage obtained from the university’s laboratories showing defenceless mice swimming for their lives in sheer-sided containers. Over the last three years, experimenters there have recorded more than 300 forced swim test videos. The institution’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body has told PETA that there are “no ethical or welfare reasons to suspend” the test.

Following discussions with PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – and its international affiliates, King’s College London declared that it doesn’t intend to use the forced swim test in the future and 14 companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca, banned it.

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

For more information, please visit or follow the group on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


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