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PETA Protestors Pretend To Act Like 'Drowned Mice' On Bondi To Push Important Message

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

PETA Protestors Pretend To Act Like 'Drowned Mice' On Bondi To Push Important Message

A group of PETA protesters took to the shores of Bondi Beach demanding that cruel mice lab experiments be stopped.

The protesters dressed up as mice and pretended to drown in the ocean while calling for drug manufacturer Eli Lilly to ban forced swim tests. 

The mouseketeers held up signs that read ‘Eli Lilly: Ban Forced Swim Tests' and 'Animals Are Not Ours to Experiment On’ as they paddled out to Bondi, according to news.com.au.

Credit: PETA
Credit: PETA

Forced swim tests (FST) or ‘behavioural despair tests’ supposedly measure the quality of antidepressant drugs while mice and hamsters are placed into inescapable beakers filling up with water.

Researchers then analyse the animals as they begin to panic and inevitably swim rapidly in desperation to find an exit.

While some animals float, some researchers believe this is a sign of depression, while others indicate it’s a survival mechanism kicking in.

The validity of the test has been widely questioned as many scientists believe it’s not an effective way to trial the quality of antidepressants.


UK scientists wrote in a paper published in the Physiology & Behavior Journal last year found the forced swim test doesn't accurately measure the efficiency of such medicines.

A scientific paper, written by PETA neuroscientist Dr Emily Trunnel, also found it had ‘such poor accuracy for identifying novel antidepressants' and concluded 'FST might not be a useful screening tool for this purpose.’

PETA issued a statement, citing the test is ‘less accurate than a coin toss.”


They wrote: “Between 1993 and 2019, Eli Lilly employees published at least 22 papers and submitted at least 11 patent applications describing the use of the notorious test — but none of the drugs tested were brought to market for depression.”

PETA Australia outreach and partnerships manager Emily Rice also slammed the test for being 'archaic as it is barbaric’.

PETA is calling on Eli Lilly to follow the lead of more than a dozen other pharmaceutical companies and ban this useless test,” she said.

Despite PETA protesters calling out Eli Lilly, they are not the only institution that still conducts this experiment.


Several Australian and New Zealand universities still practise this method, including the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the University of Western Australia, the University of South Australia, the University of Queensland, and Victoria University of Wellington.

Featured Image Credit: PETA. Alamy

Topics: News, Australia, Animals, Science

Charisa Bossinakis
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