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Source: SAFE NZ

The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and SAFE will be protesting at Victoria University’s Kelburn Campus at 11am today over the institution’s use of 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 protest is part of NZAVS and SAFE’s campaign to ban the Forced Swim Test. Both animal rights organisations say the test is cruel and invalid and have been joined by other groups including Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), Speak Up For Animals (SUFA) and PETA Australia.
NZAVS Executive Director Tara Jackson says the growing chorus of voices against the Forced Swim Test can no longer be ignored.
“Today we will be representing the thousands of people who have called on Vic Uni to ban the Forced Swim Test,” says Miss Jackson.
“Small animals such as rats and mice are being subjected to needless suffering in a test that fails to model human depression. It’s 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.”
Today’s protest follows NZAVS and SAFE’s action last month at the Victoria University Open Day. A team of volunteers accompanied a billboard with video footage of the Forced Swim Test, to raise awareness of the test within the current and future student body. Many current students and members of faculty were shocked to learn that the test takes place at the institute.
SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says this is an area where the University can show some leadership by listening to its students and the wider public and make a progressive and compassionate choice for animals.
“A shift away from this test is happening on an international level so ending the use of the Forced Swim Test is inevitable. It’s time for Victoria University to make New Zealand proud and ban this completely invalid and cruel animal test.”
The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society is New Zealand’s primary non-profit organisation defending animals used 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.
NZAVS and SAFE’s protest will take place between 11 am and 1 pm today on Kelburn Parade, outside the Victoria University Kelburn Campus.
Notes:
– Facebook event for today’s protest.
– Information and photos of the action at Victoria University’s Open Day.
– Information about how students feel towards this test.
– 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.
– 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 is now targeting Victoria University’s use of the Forced Swim Test too.
– 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.
– Pharmaceutical companies Abbvie, Johnson and Johnson, NutriFusion LLC, Astraea Therapeutics, AstraZeneca and Novo Nordisk A/S have all committed to no longer conducting or funding 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.
– More information about the Forced Swim Test.

MIL OSI New Zealand News