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Petition to ban cruel animal testing

Petition to ban cruel animal testing will be presented at Parliament today

A 20,000 strong petition will be presented to Parliament today, on World Animal Day, urging a total ban on the Forced Swim 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 petition to ban the Forced Swim Test is a joint effort between the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and animal rights organisation SAFE. The test has been approved for use at Victoria University of Wellington and Otago University, despite calls from students and the public to end the use of the test.

NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson says it’s time the Government ended flawed and unethical animal tests.

"The Forced Swim Test is less predictive than chance at determining if a drug will be effective for humans," says Ms Jackson.

"Not only is the test cruel, outdated and invalid, but there is also a global shift away from animal research like this. Three of the top ten pharmaceutical companies, in terms of revenue, have committed to ending the use of the Forced Swim Test. It’s a waste of time, money and resources that could be better spent elsewhere on research to treat depression."

In July, students from over a dozen clubs, including the Psychology Club, signed a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University and members of the University’s Animal Ethics Committee, urging the institute to end the test.

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says the treatment of small animals in the Forced Swim Test is abhorrent.

"New Zealand is a nation of animal lovers. We demanded a ban on testing synthetic drugs on animals because of the cruelty involved. The Forced Swim Test is just another example of flawed research that causes suffering to animals."

"We want to encourage the Government to make a positive change for both animals and people and end the use of the Forced Swim Test. Caring Kiwis won’t stand for cruel and flawed animal tests."


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