January 18 2018
NZAVS appalled that thousands of animals are subjected to flawed research
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) is appalled that cruel and scientifically flawed “Forced Swim Tests”
are being conducted on animals in New Zealand.
NZAVS has learned researchers at Victoria University and the University of Otago conduct Forced Swim Tests, where mice
or rats are dropped into an inescapable vessel of water and are forced to swim until close to drowning. This method of
testing is used to model human depression, based on the assumption that a depressed animal gives up trying to escape
sooner than one that is not depressed.
NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson says this horrific method of testing has no relevance to human depression.
“Researches are torturing animals with the aim of learning more about human behaviour, but the reality is it’s a waste
of time and innocent animals are paying for it,” says Ms Jackson.
“There is no single sign or symptom of human depression that’s effectively modelled in the test. Forced Swim Testing is
completely flawed and should be discontinued based on this alone.”
Each year approximately 300,000 animals are used for research, testing and teaching purposes, often involving cruel
experiments that inflict severe pain.
“Instead of continuously using a broken model, time and resources should be spent on developing more human-relevant
tests, rather than inflicting pain and suffering on animals for no scientific gain. Due to the physiological,
psychological and other differences between humans and animals commonly used in experiments, animal-based testing for
humans is scientifically flawed,” adds Ms Jackson.
“We are urging the Government to ban the Forced Swim Test in New Zealand and conduct a full review on the validity of
all animal tests for psychological research.”