Live pigs are being blown up as part of a series of government terrorism experiments at Porton Down, the government’s secret military research laboratory.
Eighteen pigs wrapped in protective Kevlar blankets were blasted in a bid to help scientists understand more about the effects of bomb blasts on victims.
The animals were placed less than three yards from an explosive. Before being blown up, tubes were inserted into their blood vessels and bladders, and their spleens were removed.
A wire was also put into a major abdominal blood vessel to ensure the vessel became lacerated in the explosion.
The Kevlar blankets were used to protect the animals from minor bomb debris and the animals were anaesthetised throughout.
Scientists wanted to find out how long the animals survived when more than a third of their blood had drained from their bodies.
Medics hope the experiments will help British soldiers in Afghanistan as well as casualties of terror attacks like the July 2005 bombing of the London Underground and a double-decker bus.
In particular these results should help them understand how to control haemorrhaging in bomb blast victims.
But Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes, questioned the use of live animals in military experiments.
Talking to the Sunday Times he said: "These are revolting and unnecessary experiments. Sadly, we are too familiar with the effects of terrorism. It is perfectly possible to find out things we don't know without blowing up pigs to find out." …
No pigs survived the experiments.
Pigs are smarter than dogs. That’s why I stopped eating them years ago, despite loving the taste of bacon and smoked ham. If we could grow authentic healthy pig meat in a lab without it being part of an animal, I’d probably eat it once a week. Anyway, pigs are very smart:
In the current issue of Animal Behaviour, researchers present evidence that domestic pigs can quickly learn how mirrors work and will use their understanding of reflected images to scope out their surroundings and find their food. The researchers cannot yet say whether the animals realize that the eyes in the mirror are their own, or whether pigs might rank with apes, dolphins and other species that have passed the famed "mirror self-recognition test" thought to be a marker of self-awareness and advanced intelligence. … – NYTimes
This is unbelievably cruel and unnecessary. Is there no ethics committee?
If the researchers at Porton Down would instead blow themselves up, they’d learn from the experience and they’d definitely save lives. I’m kidding about that, but there ARE plenty of human casualties right now that could be studied. If the Downers choose not to blow themselves up, they might instead just go examine some unfortunate soldiers who can be found with these types of major injuries in military hospitals.