Sheep Given Meth and Then Tasered

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Sheep Given Meth and Then Tasered

By Stephanie Feldstein on Animals.Change.org
April 2010

So, basically, the study proved that tasers are safe on large, sleeping sheep. I'm sure that knowledge really advances our society.

Since methamphetamine is so popular among humans, and since many people high on meth resist arrest, Taser International thought it was a good idea to give animals meth and see what happens when they're zapped.

Taser International and law enforcement agencies claim stun guns are safe, despite their association with several deaths, the likelihood of which increases when drugs are involved. So sixteen sheep were given an IV drip of meth and then blasted with tasers several times so researchers could study the effect of this scenario on the heart.

Despite concerns over taser-abuse by law enforcement, taking recreational drugs is an individual human choice. Why should animals have to suffer in a lab for a human's poor decisions? It's not like the defenders of animal research can claim that this study is up there with curing cancer, all in the name of helping the helpless. What next? Giving monkeys heroin and whiskey and then putting them in handcuffs to see how someone who mixes drugs and alcohol might act when arrested? To be honest, I'm hesitant to think through any other absurd scenarios because I'll probably find out that they've already been done.

Here's the other big issue I have with this research: I can't see how this study is scientifically valid. For one, sheep aren't human, so the effects of meth and electric-voltage will be different on each species. And the sheep were anesthetized, which makes it less painful for them (except for the smaller ones whose hearts did appear to be affected to some degree by the shock), but also means it wasn't a very valid simulation of arresting a meth addict. Cardiac responses are directly affected by stress and the stress levels of a paranoid, meth-intoxicated person running from the law is going to be very different than that of an anesthetized sheep.

So, basically, the study proved that tasers are safe on large, sleeping sheep. I'm sure that knowledge really advances our society.