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Animal tests will be exposed at today's Open Day at Victoria University - SAFE

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

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."

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