Cruel animal test to be demonstrated outside LUSH Auckland store tomorrow
NZAVS and SAFE, with support from LUSH Cosmetics Australasia, will be demonstrating the cruel Forced Swim Test outside LUSH Newmarket tomorrow.
The action taking place outside the LUSH store in Newmarket, Auckland, will involve a dunk tank, which volunteers from the LUSH team will take turns swimming in to symbolise what animals go through during the cruel test.
This is part of the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and animal rights organisation SAFE’s joint campaign against the Forced Swim Test. Despite pressure from students and the wider public, Victoria University of Wellington continues to refuse to end its use of the test.
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. The dunk tank being used tomorrow will act as a human-sized beaker, and the demonstration will symbolise what the animals go through in this test.
NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson says the Forced Swim Test is a cruel and invalid test and its use in New Zealand will not be tolerated by caring Kiwis.
"Imagine someone dropping you into a tank of water that you can’t escape from. This is what the Forced Swim Test does to small animals, and today we’re highlighting that," says Jackson.
"LUSH is well known for its firm stance against animal testing. LUSH Cosmetics Australasia have now added their voices to our campaign and together we’re sending a loud message to the decision makers at Vic Uni."
Earlier this month recently elected City Councillor Tamatha Paul, writing in her capacity as the President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association (VUWSA), penned a letter to the Victoria University Animal Ethics Committee calling for them to end the university’s use of the Forced Swim Test. In her letter, she outlined how use of the test reflects poorly on the institute and is contrary to the University’s progressive values.
SAFE spokesperson Nellie Lyon says, "We look to our tertiary institutions to provide leadership on progressive issues. We expect them to make decisions for the benefit of the public good. Ending the use of the Forced Swim Test is the right thing to do."
Over 16,000 people have sent a message to decision makers at Victoria University asking that they immediately ban the use of the Forced Swim Test. NZAVS and SAFE, supported by LUSH, are encouraging people to take action and send a message to the University: nzavs-take-action.co.nz
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society is New Zealand's primary non-profit organisation defending animals used in science. We work to end animal experimentation and the harmful use of animals for research, testing and teaching in Aotearoa.
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 action will take place outside LUSH Newmarket, Auckland, Saturday 30th November, from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
Notes for editor:
- A recent Horizon Research poll showed just 14% of respondents supported the continued use of the Forced Swim Test. More than half (54%) supported a ban, while 32% of respondents were not sure.
- A petition signed by over 25,000 people was presented to Parliament on October 4, calling for the Government to ban the Forced Swim Test.
- Just two universities in New Zealand have approved the use of the Forced Swim Test in the past five years. Over 16,000 people have sent a message to Victoria University asking that they ban the use of this test.
- Evidence that the Forced Swim Test has been conducted at Victoria University.
- Victoria University is so far refusing to commit to no longer conduct or fund the Forced Swim Test.
- PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is also calling on Victoria University to ban the Forced Swim Test.
- Scientists themselves are speaking out against the Forced Swim Test due to its lack of merit. Read more about the invalidity of this test here.
- There are already many reliable methods to test drugs meant for humans without the use of animals. These include computer modelling of human systems and drug repurposing programmes.
- More information about the Forced Swim Test.
- An image of the Forced Swim Test that can be used can be found here (a multi-image manipulation created to simulate a Forced Swim Test visual). Doctors Against Animal Experimentation also have images available to use here (use of these images must be credited to Doctors Against Animal Experimentation).