Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
Cruel and invalid Forced Swim Tests carried out at Victoria University of Wellington, will be exposed at the University Open Day today, so prospective students can be warned about the flawed and unethical research being conducted at the institute.
The Forced Swim Test involves forcing small animals such as rats or mice to swim in an inescapable beaker of water until they ‘give up’ and float. The test reportedly attempts to mimic depression or hopelessness in humans, which the students say the University should end on ethical and scientific grounds.
The action organised by the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and animal rights organisation SAFE, will see a mobile billboard roaming around the Kelburn campus between 8am and 3pm. A team of volunteers will accompany the billboard with video footage of the Forced Swim Test, to raise awareness of the test within the current and future student body.
NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson says students have a right to know that the University still conducts archaic animal tests like the Forced Swim Test.
“On Open Day the University wants to show its best side. We want to be sure that prospective students visiting the campus today do find out what it’s really like at Vic Uni,” says Miss Jackson.
“Not only is the Forced Swim Test cruel but it fails to model human depression. This test is less predictive than chance at determining if a compound would have efficacy in humans. Victoria University is wasting valuable resources, including time and money, each time they approve this test.”
In July, Students from over a dozen clubs, including the Psychology Club, signed a letter to the Vice-Chancellor and members of the University’s Animal Ethics committee, urging the institute to end the test.
“Student clubs, hundreds of students and over ten thousand members of the public have urged the University to end the cruel and invalid Forced Swim Test.”
“There is a global shift away from this test. Three of the top ten pharmaceutical companies have committed to ending the use of the Forced Swim Test.”
“We will continue our campaign until Victoria University commits to no longer conducting or funding the Forced Swim Test.”
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), is New Zealand’s only non-profit organisation aiming to end animal experimentation & the harmful use of animals in science.
SAFE is New Zealand’s leading animal rights organisation.
We’re working towards a world where animals are understood and respected in such a way that they are no longer exploited, abused or made to suffer.
The joint action between NZAVS and SAFE will take place at Victoria University Open Day today at Kelburn campus and will start at on Kelburn Parade, near the overbridge at 8am.
– A petition to end the Forced Swim Test nationwide has already gained over 13,000 signatures.
– The Body Shop is supporting our campaign by having our petition in all of its stores across NZ.
– Just two universities in NZ have approved the use of this test in the past 5 years. Over ten thousand people have sent a message to Victoria University, asking that they ban the use of this test.
– Victoria University is so far refusing to commit to no longer conduct or fund the Forced Swim Test.
– Pharmaceutical companies Abbvie, Johnson and Johnson, NutriFusion LLC and Astraea Therapeutics have all committed to no longer conduct the use of the Forced Swim Test. Now three of the top ten pharmaceutical companies worldwide (in terms of revenue) have committed to no longer use the Forced Swim Test.
– PETA is now targeting Victoria University’s use of the Forced Swim Test too.