We are thrilled to see that Grant Shackell, the Chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) has acknowledged the campaign that we and SAFE are working on to end the use of the cruel and invalid Forced Swim Test in NZ in his most recent NAEAC Newsletter.
This newsletter is sent to all Animal Ethics Committees in NZ, these are groups of people with the responsibility of evaluating all proposals to use animals for research, testing and teaching. Therefore, our campaign has been highlighted directly to the people who have the responsibility of deciding if such projects should be approved or not.
In the newsletter Grant states “The Forced Swim Test . . . is a rodent behavioural test. NAEAC encourages AEC’s to continue to consider the necessity for this and similar tests.”
It’s promising that NAEAC are open to questioning the necessity of animal tests like this and we are impressed that they are encouraging others to as well.
Animal Ethics Committees have a huge responsibility. Among other considerations, they are required to make sure that alternatives to all animal manipulations have been considered. We think a lot more work needs to be done in this area, but declining approval for a cruel, outdated and totally invalid test would be a good start!