‘Mice’ to Protest Eli Lilly CEO Over Forced Swim Tests

PETA Will Demand End to Cruel, Bogus Near-Drowning Test on Small Animals

For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

San Francisco – Masked “mice” from PETA will descend on the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, when Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks is slated to take the stage, and wield signs demanding that Ricks “end the mouse torture” by banning the forced swim test.

When:    Tuesday, January 14, 1 p.m.

Where:    335 Powell St. (near Geary Street), San Francisco

In the test (see this video), mice and other small animals are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water and made to swim to keep from drowning, purportedly to shed light on human depression. 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. The test is less accurate than a coin toss in determining the effectiveness of antidepressant medications.

“Forcing frantic animals to swim for their lives is cruel and tells us nothing about human depression,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on David Ricks to bring Eli Lilly in line with the rest of the pharmaceutical industry and ban this indefensible test immediately.”

Bayer, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and many other pharmaceutical companies have banned the forced swim test after hearing from 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.

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