Forced swim test banned by another leading pharma company ‘Roche’

After hearing from PETA, PETA Germany, and PETA Switzerland put another mark in the win column for animals, since the huge Roche Pharmaceuticals just stated that it will end its usage of the near-drowning swim test on mice, as well as, on other small animals. Roche has joined the top ten pharmaceuticals firms inclusive of AbbVie, Johnson & Johnson, as well as, other firms in banning the offensive forced swim test.

Roche published at least 11 papers between 2001 and 2018 that describes its use of the forced swim test in experiments which involved over 800 rats and mice. Experimenters in labs where these tests are conducted drop small animals into containers where they cannot escape of water & watch as they frantically look for an escape. Animals try to dive underwater, climb out, searching for an exit, and struggle to stay on the surface. The experiments are supposed to study depression in humans, however experts in the field have over and over again called the validity of test into question.

Doctor Emily Trunnell who is a neuroscientist at PETA just had one such critique published in the journal Brain Stimulation. In response to a paper which was published by experimenters who rats subjected to the forced swim test to make claims about measures to help humans with depression, she stated that no discussion was offered by the authors as to other likely interpretations of the behavior of animals or to the scientific controversy which surrounded this behavioral test.

Doctor Trunnell went ahead to describe how the use of animals in stupid experiments like the forced swim test is a primary factor in the lack of progress in developing novel, as well as, effective therapies for humans. She urged scientists to stop these obsolete practices and focus on human-relevant research methods.