Will Poulter Urges University of Bristol to End Use of Near-Drowning Test on Animals

Will Poulter Urges University of Bristol to End Use of Near-Drowning Test on Animals

Actor Joins Forces With PETA to Push University to Stop Tormenting Rats in Flawed Test

London – University of Bristol alumnus and The Maze Runner actor Will Poulter has sent a letter to the institution’s vice-chancellor and president, Hugh Brady, imploring him to end the university’s use of forced swim experiments.

In the controversial experiments, small animals such as rats are placed in inescapable beakers of water and made to swim to keep from drowning, purportedly to shed light on human neurobehavioural conditions such as depression and stress. Yet these types of tests have been heavily criticised by scientists who argue that they’re bad science.

“I don’t want to imagine the panic the animals must feel as they are dropped into an inescapable cylinder filled with water and furiously try to climb up the sides and dive down to the bottom to look for an escape,” writes Poulter. “Please, stop using forced swim tests now. They harm animals and mislead experimenters.”

Following discussions with PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – and its international affiliates, 14 companies and two universities, including King’s College London, have declared that they do not intend to use forced swim tests, which they previously used for depression research, in the future. PETA is calling on the University of Bristol to follow suit.

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

Poulter’s letter to Brady is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]