PETA Says Eli Lilly is Funding "Forced Swim" Experiment

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PETA Says Eli Lilly is Funding "Forced Swim" Experiment

The animal rights group was also in Indy to protest MS experiments on golden retrievers.

INDIANAPOLIS--At Texas A&M University, golden retrievers are being bred with a form of muscular dystrophy to find out more about the disease. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was in Indy Wednesday to protest during a speech by the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Dean Eleanor Green, at a veterinary conference.

PETA calls the practice cruel and believes it should stop.

"These dogs live their lives in barren cages alone, unable to walk properly, unable to eat properly. It's just a miserable life for them," said Dr. Katherine Roe, a research scientists with PETA, whose mission is to help convince scientists that animal experimentation is unnecessary.

She said Eli Lilly is actively funding experiments called the "forced swim test".

"Mice, rats, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters are dropped into what are inescapable tanks of water, and the animals are forced to paddle furiously, trying to exit," said Roe. "And, 50 years ago, believe it or not, experimenters thought the amount of time an animals spent or floating had some relevance to human depression."

She said Lilly, along with Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb are funding the experiments, while companies like Johnson and Johnson have pulled funding, following their consideration of data and talks with PETA.

"Unfortunately Eli Lilly and a few others are still conducting these experiments and we're hoping the public will reach out to them and ask them to stop."

Roe said she believes many other available methods of testing that do not include experiments on animals, produce more accurate results.  That includes 3-D imaging of the brain and other types of scans.

PHOTO: PETA video

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