Animal testing: Cruel or crucial?

News 24/04/2019

This Wednesday on World Day for Laboratory Animals two animal rights groups have joined together with a petition to end animal testing they allege is happening in universities in New Zealand. 

Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) and New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) released a statement Wednesday afternoon. 

Today on World Day for Laboratory Animals, a letter for Professor Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University, was delivered to the Psychology Department by SAFE and the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS), accompanied by Felix and Veritas - two rats who were rescued from experiments at Victoria University - calling for an end to the use of the Forced Swim Test" the statement reads.

The statement further explains "The Forced Swim Test involves putting a small animal such as a mouse or a rat in an inescapable beaker of water, where they are made to swim until they give up. This test is known to be currently used at Victoria University and Otago University."

The test is intended to mimic depression in order to test antidepressants. The test involves two trials. The first trial lasts 15 minutes, after 24 hours the trial is repeated for five minutes. The time the animal spends immobile during the second trial is measured. 

The test has been interpreted as meaning that reduced effort to escape the beaker reflects a negative behaviour which correlates to depression. This interpretation has been disputed as invalid. 

SAFE and NZAVS both claim the test is invalid as well as cruel and unnecessary.

Tune in to Magic Talk this evening for Magic Talk Drive with Ryan Bridge when he speaks with a representative for SAFE.

Answer our poll below and let us know what you think.