On 7th February 2024, the private members’ bill presented by the Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst passed in the New South Wales parliament’s upper house, the Legislative Council. In 2022, a parliamentary inquiry recommended these cruel animal experiments be banned, and now they are a step closer as the bill only needs to be passed by the lower house, the Legislative Assembly, of this Australian state.

The bill, named “Animal Research Amendment (Prohibition of Forced Swim Tests and Forced Smoke Inhalation Experiments) Bill 2023”, amends the Animal Research Act 1985.

If passed by both chambers, experiments forcing animals to swim or inhale smoke will be banned under the law, after the government moved amendments to exempt fishes. Tara Moriarty, Agriculture Minister, said, “One would be hard-pressed to say fish are forced to swim however this amendment simply is about ensuring that the intended scope of the prohibition is abundantly clear.” Greens MP Abigail Boyd said the party did not oppose the amendments but said, “These amendments have been made simply to enable the government to accept this bill … rather than putting forward their own bill.”

Emma Hurst posted this on her Instagram account immediately after the bill was passed: “BILL PASSED UPPER HOUSE! Forced Swim and Forced Smoking experiments on animals are cruel, unscientific and unnecessary, and soon they will be unlawful. We are the first in the world to pass laws to stop these experiments. We believe we also have the numbers in the lower house to bring this into law meaning animals will no longer be near-drowned or die from asphyxiation in these cruel tests. Thank you to each and every one of you who helped us get this passed – we have stopped so much cruelty together.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.