Protesters Pretend to Be ‘Drowning Mice’ to Call Attention to Animal Abuse in Antidepressant Research


From “A group of protesters dressed as mice ‘struggled’ in the water off Bondi Beach on Wednesday in an effort to call attention to pharmaceutical companies’ use of ‘barbaric’ forced swim tests.

Four whisker-sporting supporters of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) held up signs calling on drug manufacturer Eli Lilly to ban the practice, in which small animals such as mice or hamsters are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water in order to measure how long they will fight to stay alive.

Also known as the ‘despair’ test, it is commonly used in pharmaceutical research to measure the supposed effectiveness of antidepressant medications — however some have long criticised its validity.




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  1. What are the 3 tests used? Drowning, running a maze and ? (I would hear travel to NYC to hear the local featured psychiatrist, Rifaat El Mallakh from Louisville speak to the crowd inside the new World Trade Center Bldg at the offices of the New York Academy of Science. (See Whitaker’s take on Mallakh’s research).

    The pharma industry had sponsored the event at the beginning of the Obama Administration. There seemed to be some cognitive dissonance occurring when I shared with them I had worked off the meds and would participate in asking some questions. Rather amazing space to witness in the rebuilding of the New York World Trade Tower.

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