New Zealand decides against banning Forced Swim Test, despite consensus that it does not work
In the Forced Swim Test, also known as the Porsolt test, rats or mice are placed in a beaker of water and made to swim with no possibility of escape. It’s used by some researchers to try and measure depression or depression-like behaviour.
The Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee produced a report detailing the arguments of both sides. All sides of the debate agreed the Forced Swim Test does not work.
"The FST [Forced Swim Test] is not a great test in terms of efficacy, and it has an ethical cost. We heard that in the past the test has been used inappropriately, and inappropriate conclusions have been drawn from it,” says the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society. “It is quite shocking that all of the advice provided shows this test is not very effective, and yet the Committee still did not wish to see it banned. That means animals could continue to suffer and research funding could continue to be wasted on a useless test.”