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Universities still performing 'swim test' on rats, mice

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Monday, 24 June 2019, 10:04AM
The latest testg was in order to examine depression in the animals. (Photo / Getty)

Universities have come under the microscope for their animal testing practices.

There were calls for the 'swim test' -- that forces rats and mice to swim for their lives -- to be banned earlier this year.

But months down the track, animal welfare groups say universities are still carrying out the questionable practice.

New Zealand anti-vivisection society executive director Tara Jackson told Kate Hawkesby universities are passing the buck.

"They basically come back saying they have an animal ethics committee that approves the use of animals for procedures like this, and they have trust and faith in their groups in order to make the right decisions, but the approval of this test shows the exact opposite."

The test --which is used to mimic human depression -- is based on the idea that a depressed animal gives up trying to escape a beaker full of water earlier than a less depressed animal.

But Jackson says the test has no relevance whatsoever.

"They have no predictive value of human depression, so it should be discontinued on that basis alone. The test had no scientific basis, why are we using it."




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