Bristol-Myers Squibb to Face Protest at Annual Meeting Over Forced Swim Test

Subjecting Animals to Cruel Near-Drowning Test Doesn't Advance Pharmaceutical Company's Goals, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
May 28, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Lawrence Township, N.J. – On Wednesday, from the floor of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s annual meeting, a PETA scientist will urge executives to implement a policy banning the use of the forced swim test (FST), in which mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are dropped into beakers filled with water and forced to swim to keep from drowning. See video footage of the test here. PETA supporters will also protest outside the meeting.

When:    Wednesday, May 29, 9:30 a.m.

Where:    Bristol-Myers Squibb office, 3401 Princeton Pike, Lawrence Township

In addition to terrifying small animals into thinking they’re drowning, the FST has been widely debunked by scientists.

After talks with PETA, pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, consumer product behemoth Johnson & Johnson, and Dutch ingredient manufacturer DSM Nutritional Products stopped using the FST.

“Forcing frantic animals to swim for fear of drowning is physically and psychologically abusive as well as irrelevant to human depression,” says PETA researcher Emily Trunnell, Ph.D. “PETA is calling on Bristol-Myers Squibb to ban the use of this indefensible test immediately.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please click here and visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind