Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
30 Jan 2010 Issue

| Newsletter Directory | Action Alerts | Poetry | Our Staff | Subscription Information | Links | Visitor Comments |

Pigs Used In Military In UK And USA In Outrageous, Inhumane Tests

Airforce Taser Experiments On Pigs

Airforce Taser Experiments On Pigs

(a) Live pigs blasted in terror attack experiments in UK
Marie Woolf, Whitehall Editor

LIVE pigs are being blown up with explosives at Porton Down, the government¹s secret military research laboratory, to simulate the effect of terrorist attacks on civilian targets.

In a series of tests at the biological and chemical research centre in Wiltshire, 18 large pigs were wrapped in protective blankets before bombs were detonated a few feet away. The scientists allowed the pigs to bleed until almost a third of their blood was gone to see how long they could be kept alive.

MPs and animal welfare groups have questioned the use of live animals in the explosions, even though the pigs were anaesthetised throughout. None survived the experiments.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, said: ³These are revolting and unnecessary experiments. Sadly, we are too familiar with the effects of terrorism. It is perfectly possible to find out things we don¹t know without blowing up pigs to find out.²

Research papers, obtained by The Sunday Times, show that the experiments at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory were carried out because ³blast injuries are an increasing problem, owing to the widespread terrorist threat².

The blasts were meant to recreate the effect of an explosion in an enclosed space, such as the July 2005 attacks on the Underground and a double-decker bus in London, and had been designed to help medics control haemorrhaging from victims.

The pigs were wrapped in Kevlar blankets to protect them from minor bomb debris and placed less than three yards from the explosive. Before being blown up, they had tubes inserted into their blood vessels and bladders, and their spleens removed. A major blood vessel in the abdomen had a wire put into it so the vessel was lacerated during the blast.

Porton Down said the research programme would help British soldiers exposed to bombs in Afghanistan as well as potential civilian terror casualties. Up to 94% of critically injured victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings were identified as suffering from ³blast lung², an injury that leaks over time.

A spokeswoman said that anecdotally there was already evidence that the research was helping to save lives.

³This work is part of our broad combat casualty care programme. Anecdotally, we are seeing evidence of people surviving because of this work,² she said.

Porton Down, originally set up to research chemical warfare during the first world war, uses a special breed of white pig that has skin resembling human flesh.

Scientists at the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection questioned the validity of the tests, saying that the effect on an anaesthetised pig of a bomb blast would ³differ substantially from those of a conscious human being².

A spokesman said: ³We understand the need to deal with the human tragedy, of which sadly there are too many cases. However, we do not believe that mutilating pigs in these horrific experiments is the answer.²

(B)The Air Force Experiments

PETA has obtained sickening video footage of another series of Taser experiments, which were funded by the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) through the Department of Defense (DoD). The JNLWD commissioned the Air Force Research Laboratory to "evaluate the behavioral effectiveness" of Taser's products at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas.

Here are the chilling details of one Taser experiment on 11 pigs:

Each pig was initially exposed to the output of one of five randomly selected TASER-like devices for 15 seconds. There was a minimum rest period of 45 hours between succeeding exposures .... The initial exposures were accomplished while the pigs were pressing a panel for a food reward. After the second exposure, independent of the devices they were exposed to, the pigs refused to approach the bar and food well. Therefore, the test chamber was reconfigured; the panel press apparatus and food well were replaced with a bowl that contained food. After the third exposure, the pigs refused to approach the food bowl and vigorously resisted entering the test chamber.

A one-second jolt with a Taser has been known to cause excruciating pain. One reporter recounted, "Taking the jolt, my knees gave out and the quick blast felt like it lasted 10 minutes. All I could see was red, and the pain was like an extreme migraine headache and how I imagine a whack in the back with a baseball bat would feel." After being subjected to an intolerable 15 seconds of electric current, it's no wonder that the animals refused to go back into the chamber. Even when they had been cruelly fasted for up to 48 hours, they balked, knowing what would happen to them.

In the protocols, the experimenters documented the following:

The Air Force Video: Where's the Sound?

PETA was denied video footage of these experiments until our attorney filed a complaint. When we finally received the DVD, it was obvious why the Air Force was reluctant to release it. The animals were shown screaming and convulsing horribly, one after the other; they were deliberately and repeatedly subjected to prolonged electric Taser shocks. But the videotape did not have an audio track, and we've had to file another appeal for the full, unedited version as well as photographs that we know exist.
PETA wrote to the Air Force Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) members who approved this pitiless, revolting experiment—which was designated a category 3 experiment ("Pain or distress without analgesia"). We sent them a copy of the DVD so that they could see for themselves what they had approved. We asked them to favor non-animal test methods and refuse to sign off on any other protocols that involve blatant suffering.

Experiments on Animals—Not Good for the Air Force's Reputation

One member of the IACUC, John Ziriax, wrote that this experiment "will be a very high visibility project. This is a feature that has both good and bad consequences. On the good side, done well, this experiment could enhance the reputation of Brooks as a DoD bio-effects research laboratory. On the bad side, anything less than quality work has the potential for doing damage to our collective reputation and our ability to continue doing research with animals."

Take Action

Please write to Dr. James Jauchem, who presided over these experiments. Ask how these crude tests could have passed muster, and explain that they reflect very poorly on Brooks Air Force Base. Politely tell him that this does not qualify as "quality work" and that weapons experiments on animals must cease.

James Jauchem, Ph.D.
8308 Hawks Rd.
Brooks Air Force Base, TX 78235
[email protected] 

Please also write to:

Col. David Karcher, Director
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate
3097 Range Rd.
Quantico, VA 22134

Editors comments. As we hear excuses as to why innocent animals are subjected to such heinous tests, tell me why did this following incident happened. I thought the testing on a pig proved Tasering Humans would be safe?

You mean all those pigs suffered in vain??

You tell me, is this weapon safe, is it being over used and are some policeman becoming too full of their power and being reckless and bullies? How many more people will die?

Is this frightened and confused man who couldn't speak our language and wasn't provided on interpreter as he waited for hours for his mother to pick him up airport justified, was this mans' death okay? Not to his Mother it wasn't.

Man killed by police after being Tasered video .

Go on to Next Newsletter Topic
Return to 30 Jan 2010 Issue
Return to Newsletter Directory

| Home Page | Newsletter Directory |

Please send comments and submittals to the Editor: Linda Beane [email protected]

Animals in Print - A Newsletter concerned with: advances, alerts, animal, animals, attitude, attitudes, beef, cat, cats, chicken, chickens, compassion, consciousness, cows, cruelty, dairy, dog, dogs, ecology, egg, eggs, education, empathy, empathize, empathise, environment, ethics, experiment, experiments, factory, farm, farms, fish, fishing, flesh, food, foods, fur, gentleness, health, human, humans, non-human, hunting, indifference, intelligent, intelligence, kindness, lamb, lambs, liberation, medical, milk, natural, nature, newsletters, pain, pig, pigs, plant, plants, poetry, pork, poultry, research, rights, science, scientific, society, societies, species, stories, study, studies, suffering, test, testing, trapping, vegetable, vegetables, vegan, veganism, vegetarian, vegetarianism, water, welfare

This site is hosted and maintained by:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Thank you for visiting
Since date.gif (991 bytes)