Wednesday 12 July 2023 | 6

Animal testing: some are clinging onto forced swimming for rats and mice

Animal testing: some are clinging onto forced swimming for rats and mice

Mis à jour le 08 September 2023

Australia and England have recently missed the opportunity to ban forced swimming tests inflicted upon rodents in their laboratories. Incomprehensible decisions with regard to the suffering caused by these experiments, the efficacy of which has not even been proven. In France, we continue to fight against these methods that are defended tooth and nail by the animal testing industry, which, clearly, has no boundaries.

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In January, the New South Wales Government disappointed Australia. When it was questioned on the possibility of ‘quickly’ banning forced swimming tests, they turned a blind eye to animal welfare advocates and accepted that these experiments would continue as long as they are “duly justified”. A very vague condition for allowing rodents in clear distress to be immersed for minutes on end in a bowl of water with no possibility of escaping...

Procedures maintained against all logic

A response from England on the same subject has been expected for months. On 5 July, the Animal Science Committee (ASC) published its “advice” on the solution of forced swimming, reaffirming the testing industry’s use of it when all of the warning lights are flashing.

The British equivalent of the French Comité national de réflexion éthique sur l'expérimentation animale (CNREEA) [National Consultative Ethics Committee] also recognised that the projects using these tests do not explain why they are necessary and consciously forget to define their methodology, but also that nothing has confirmed that these procedures can help in finding novel antidepressants. Worse, they could make us miss out on interesting new medications according to a publication by a scientific journal on alternatives to forced swimming tests. Added to the immense stress felt by the animals during these experiments, these arguments should hit the target, but they do not. Against all logic, the ASC states that the use of forced swimming is, in principle, valid in studying the neurobiology of stress and accepts that it is used for testing antidepressants. And this even despite the fact that alternative methods exist and deserve to be developed, whatever the committee might say.

Nothing, not even the fact that members of staff at the laboratories have reported the deaths of rodents from inhaling water following tests in Australia, has convinced the ASC to rule in favour of the animals being subjected to these experiments.

The fight for animals being tested on continues

In France, we are continuing to fight so that rats, who are intelligent, empathetic, and playful beings, can be saved from these drowning simulations. To come to their aid, we are doing everything we can to obtain information and recent footage of the use of forced swimming in our country. This is a sizeable task, given that projects continue to be approved by the Ministry of Research and the animal testing industry is doing everything they can to be as impenetrable as possible.

By 25 July, we hope that the European Commission will give a favourable response to the Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics European Citizens’ Initiative as well as for the 10 million animals who pass through the walls of European laboratories every year.

Translated from the French by Joely Justice

Marion Henriet
Hr blog

In the subject

Atrocity and abundance of animal experimentation projects in France: the banality of everyday life One Voice is asking France to encourage alternative methods to animal testing in the EU

Comments 6

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Clairette | Monday 21 August 2023

Les animaux souffrent comme nous. Respectez les

Bambino | Wednesday 09 August 2023

Pourquoi l'être humain ne comprend pas que nous sommes en perdition. Pourquoi toujours cette violence gratuite ?

Isaline | Thursday 27 July 2023

Ce qui compte c'est le fric c'est tout!! les souris etc... ils s'en moquent !
C'est immonde et cruel!!

marie-claude | Sunday 16 July 2023

Stop à l'expérimentation animale, il y a d'autres alternatives, la stupidité humaine est toujours là