Skip to main content

To: House of Representatives

End the use of the cruel Forced Swim Test NZ

Contact Campaign Creator
Campaign created by
Tara Jackson
End the use of the cruel Forced Swim Test NZ

To the House of Representatives,

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the New Zealand Parliament enact an immediate ban on the Forced Swim Test in New Zealand to prevent this cruel and invalid test from being conducted nationwide.

We also ask that a formal review and evaluation is conducted by Parliament on the validity of all animal-based psychological tests (i.e. The Tail Suspension Test, the Elevated-Plus-Maze Test, the Morris Water Maze Test etc.) used in New Zealand.

Why is this important?

The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) have just discovered that cruel and scientifically flawed “Forced Swim Tests” are being conducted on animals in New Zealand.

Evidence has been found proving that researchers at Victoria University and the University of Otago conduct Forced Swim Tests (FST), where mice or rats are dropped into an inescapable vessel of water and are forced to swim until they are close to drowning. The method of testing is used to model human depression, based on the assumption that a depressed animal gives up trying to escape earlier.

Not only is this test cruel but it has no relevance to human depression - There is no single sign or symptom of human depression modelled in the test!

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) scientists have found that in the US, in 30 years from 1989 to 2018, experimenters gave animals 47 different test drug compounds before subjecting them to the FST. 36 of them "showed promise" based on the invalid interpretation of the test. But exactly zero of those are now on the market to treat human depression.

Animal models cannot reliably predict human outcomes, so this test is harming animals and sending researchers down the wrong track by producing results that aren't applicable to people.

Other animal-based tests used in psychological tests have the same fundamental issue. In order to find real, effective treatments for human depression, addiction or any other human illness, human-relevant research methods should be used, i.e. mathematical or computer modelling of human systems, or by a drug-repurposing program like the IBM Watson for Drug Discovery in the US.

We are asking the NZ Government to not only ban the Forced Swim Test in NZ but to also conduct a full review and evaluation on the validity of animal tests used for psychological tests in NZ.

Help stop the cruel and invalid Forced Swim Test from hurting any more animals in New Zealand - Sign the petition today.

Read more here -

By signing this petition your information will be shared with NZAVS ( and SAFE ( who will get in contact from time to time about this campaign and others. You are free to opt out at anytime.

How it will be delivered

We will deliver the petition to Parliament.

Reasons for signing

  • Very very cruel!
  • I do not like it when people are gruel to animals.
  • Whoever thought this one up - should do the test !!


2019-04-25 03:22:58 +1200

10,000 signatures reached

2019-01-22 15:14:01 +1300

5,000 signatures reached

2019-01-18 17:22:40 +1300

1,000 signatures reached

2019-01-18 14:47:44 +1300

500 signatures reached

2019-01-18 12:38:12 +1300

100 signatures reached

2019-01-18 12:23:33 +1300

50 signatures reached

2019-01-18 12:16:16 +1300

25 signatures reached

2019-01-18 12:06:19 +1300

10 signatures reached