‘Eli Lilly: Not Nice to Mice’ Message to Hit I-70 Overpass

PETA Protesters Will Unfurl Giant Banner Urging Company to Ban Cruel Forced Swim Test on Small Animals

For Immediate Release:
August 5, 2020

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Indianapolis – During rush hour on Thursday morning, a group of PETA supporters wearing masks and practicing social distancing will unfurl a gigantic banner from a busy I-70 overpass, demanding that Eli Lilly ban the forced swim test on mice and other small animals.

When:    Thursday, August 6, 8 a.m.

Where:    The S. East Street I-70 overpass (south of the intersection with Commons Drive), Indianapolis

In the test (see this video), mice, hamsters, and other small animals are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water and forced to swim to keep from drowning, purportedly to shed light on human depression. The animals swim frantically until, exhausted, they learn to float. The test has been heavily criticized by scientists who argue that floating is not a sign of depression or despair, as some claim, but rather a positive indicator of learning, saving energy, and adapting to a new environment. Statistically, the test is less accurate than a coin toss in determining the effectiveness of antidepressant medications. Between 1993 and 2019, Eli Lilly employees published at least 20 papers and subjected 3,500 mice and rats to the notorious test.

“Terrifying and nearly drowning a tiny animal will not help humans with depression,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Eli Lilly needs to modernize, like the other major pharmaceutical companies that have dumped this cruel test, and ban it now.”

GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and many other companies have banned the forced swim test after discussions with PETA.

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 visit PETA.org.

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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