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To: House of Representatives

End the use of the cruel Forced Swim Test NZ

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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

  • Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
  • Seems we have to keep repeating ourselves. Tragically, there is no end to the depraved abhorrent & heinous mechanisms we find to inflict pain, maim, injure, torture & kill the diverse types of mammals/birds/insects/fish/sea creatures resident on this planet.
  • This is ethically wrong, the only lesson being taught is that an animal's pain, stress and life is inconsequential. Torturing animals in this manor is disgusting and shameful. This is how future psychotic killers get their start, by desensitisation of watching an animal struggle, and loss of empathy for the animals that share our land. This must end now, here in NZ we need to set the example that the torture of animals is wrong.


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