Animal rights activists group PETA costumed as mice performed a mock drowning at Bondi Beach to raise awareness of animal rights. They did so to express their objection to the “barbaric” forced swim tests conducted by pharmaceutical corporations.
The protestors were covered with whiskers. They held banners that asked the drug company, Eli Lilly, to stop using a test called the “despair test,” which is already being used.
Small animals like mice or hamsters are put in water-filled beakers that can’t be broken into so that the so-called studies can be done on them. They do this in order to determine how far they can struggle to remain alive. Pharmaceutics often makes use of this method. Immobility is thought to be a sign that someone is depressed. So it is used to figure out how well antidepressants work.
At Bondi Beach, a group of animal rights activists staged to drown in order to raise awareness.
On the other hand, the validity of the test has been questioned by professionals for a long period of time. Their belief is that it may be beneficial in judging how well someone has learned from or adapted to a new environment.
In a statement, animal rights activist Emily Rice referred to the technique as “archaic” and “barbaric.” Her statement continued by stating, PETA is pushing Eli Lilly to follow in the footsteps of more than a hundred other pharmaceutical companies and restrict the use of this meaningless test. This test, according to PETA, is not particularly effective at determining if antidepressants are effective. A coin flip would be more effective, though.
The PETA protestors posed as ‘drowning mice’ in order to draw attention to their issue.
Between 1993 and 2019, employees at Eli Lilly and Company wrote at least 22 papers and submitted at least 11 patent applications. All of them mentioned the use of the infamous exam. However, none of the medications that were studied were shown to be effective in the treatment of depression and were thus not licensed.
Dr. Emily Trunnell and Dr. Constança Carvalho, two PETA neuroscientists and psychologists, released a report last year. The test was found to be unsuccessful, according to the report.
The campaigners are pressing Eli Lilly to halt experimentation on animals
The report stated that of the 109 chemicals evaluated using at least 15,238 animals. But just 31 had been researched for their probable impacts on depression in people. And of the 31, only seven were predictive of the response in people.