Pfizer Annual Meeting to Face Protest Over Forced Swim Test

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

For Immediate Release:
April 24, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Short HIlls, N.J. – On Thursday, from the floor of Pfizer’s annual meeting, a PETA scientist will challenge executives on the company’s failure to implement a policy against the use of the forced swim test, in which mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are placed in inescapable beakers filled with water and forced to swim to keep from drowning. Outside the meeting, PETA supporters will carry signs reading, “Forced Swim Test: Drowning Science,” “Pfizer: Ban the Forced Swim Test Now!” and “Animals Are Not Ours to Experiment On”—and call on the company to enact a policy banning the test, as competitors AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson have done.

When:    Thursday, April 25, 8 a.m.

Where:    Outside the Hilton Short Hills hotel, 41 John F. Kennedy Pkwy., Short Hills

In addition to terrifying small animals into thinking they’re drowning, the test has been widely debunked: While Pfizer experimenters have claimed that animals who spend more time floating are depressed, experts agree that floating is not a sign of despair but rather a positive indication that animals are learning, conserving energy, and adapting to a new environment.

“Forcing frantic animals to swim for fear of drowning is both physically and psychologically abusive, and it’s irrelevant to human depression,” says PETA researcher Emily Trunnell, Ph.D. “PETA is calling on Pfizer to enact a policy against this indefensible test immediately.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist view that other species are nothing more than commodities. For more information, please 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