Sir Mark Rylance has written to the Vice-Chancellor of Bristol University, urging him to ban the “cruel and useless” forced-swimming experiments on rats.
The 62-year-old Oscar winner said he was adding his name to the “tens of thousands” of people supporting a campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
In a letter to Vice-Chancellor Hugh Brady, Sir Mark said: “As you are no doubt aware, this test forces rats to experience the fear of drowning.
I urge you to listen to the science and stop these tests immediatelySir Mark Rylance
“Researchers place the small animals in inescapable water cups, in which they have to paddle frantically in search of an escape route.
“Peta scientists tell me that these experiments are used to study human conditions such as depression, but that the test is not required or useful to create new antidepressant treatments for humans.
“That leaves one question: Why are these experiments continuing at the University of Bristol?
“I urge you to listen to the science and stop these tests immediately.”
Sir Mark, who has just finished his appearance in Dr. Semmelweis at the Bristol Old Vic has been joined by more than 33,000 people urging the university to follow in the footsteps of King’s College London.
A statement from the University of Bristol said: “As a research university, we are committed to a culture of care where animals are treated with compassion and respect.
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“We are in regular communication with the National Center for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and the Department of the Interior, as well as with scientific societies and academic colleagues so that we can keep up to date with the latest aspects of animal testing .
“We have established ethical review processes that look at each research project individually to provide constructive feedback and ensure the most sophisticated and appropriate methods are used.
“We recognize that some people have concerns about the use of animals in research, but we also recognize that research involving animals is critical to advances in medical, veterinary and scientific knowledge, and to our understanding of health and to improve sickness and the lives of animals and animals.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/sir-mark-rylance-urges-university-to-ban-rat-swim-experiments-41551440.html Sir Mark Rylance calls on the university to ban swimming experiments with rats