New Pixar-Style Ad Challenges Pharmaceutical Giant's Antiquated Experiments on Animals
For Immediate Release:
October 1, 2019
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Raleigh, N.C. – Because Pfizer has tortured more than 1,000 terrified mice in the forced swim test—an experiment in which the gentle animals are dumped into inescapable beakers of water and forced to swim to keep from drowning—PETA is running a new ad near the company’s headquarters in New York and its laboratory facility in the Raleigh/Durham area to demand a ban on the archaic, useless test and a commitment to using only superior, human-relevant methods.
The spot—made in partnership with 160over90, an Endeavor company—features an adorable cartoon mouse mixing chemicals in his laboratory classroom in the forest and proclaims, “Animals experimenting are cute. Experimenting on animals isn’t.” It will run this week and target the ChapStick maker for having used the cruel test to measure how long the exhausted mice fight for their lives, purportedly to evaluate the effects of antidepressant drugs, which the test has so far failed to do.
“PETA’s new ad will remind people that mice are thinking, feeling beings who deserve to live and that they don’t belong to humans to be abused and killed,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Viewers will see immediately that Pfizer has robbed animals of everything that’s natural and important to them and that it must use only human-relevant, non-animal tests.”
The forced swim test is one of several bogus testing methods that have been heavily criticized by scientists—as noted in this Nature article—who argue that floating is not a measure of depression or despair, as some claim, but rather a positive indicator of learning, conserving energy, and adapting to a new environment. Johnson & Johnson, AbbVie, Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, and Novo Nordisk A/S have all banned the procedure following talks with PETA.
Studies show that 90% of basic research—most of which involves experiments on animals—doesn’t lead to treatments for humans. Government officials also admit that 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective on animals fail in human trials, either because they simply don’t work or because they cause adverse effects.