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Pigs die in avalanche research
Saturday January 16, 2010 - Email this article to a friend

Scientists in Austria sedated and then buried pigs in the snow for an experiment to understand the effects of being buried in an avalanche. They have called off their work after protests from animal rights groups and widespread media coverage.

The work was carried out in the region of the Tyrol in the Austrian Alps.

The scientists were trying to understand the effects of oxygen deprivation on the human brain and why some people were able to survive under the snow in air pockets with little impact on the brain. They also wanted to study the timescale of death.

It was hope this would lead to less people dieing in avalanches.

For the past 2 weeks the researchers have been sedating and giving anaesthetic to the pigs before burying them under the snow and observing the effects.  Around 30 animals were being used in the trials.

Animal rights groups launched loud protests accusing the scientists of cruelty and causing unnecessary suffering to the animals.

The scientists said what they were doing was entirely legal and that animal experiments are carried out every day in laboratories but this just caught people's attention because it was outside.

They said the animals experienced no unnecessary suffering as they were sedated.

However, they have now called off the experiments following the protests.

What do you think; vital research or wanton cruelty?

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Blatant cruelty, to forcibly keep such highly intelligent creatures, under these circumstances is horrendous. How about we sedate those who carried out these "experiments", and bury them in freezing conditions...we are continuously fed lies about using animals for "vital" research. Propaganda is what I call it!!
Kellie Sentance, UK

Vital research? Give me a break! This is cruelty in its purest form, like all research involving unwilling animals is.
Antonio, Brazil

Necessary research.
Xavier Adam, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England

Abhorrent cruelty like all research that uses the animal model. Thank God for Animal Rights. You're right - they are wrong. AR is standing on the side of goodness!
CKing, Canada

Wanton cruelty. All those lives who had to suffer and painfully die so intelectual man could answer a question.
Isn't bad enough when aminals or humans die acedintlly and have to suffer. I don't understand.
Karlene Kolk, michigan usa

Cruel, but important none the less. I'm generally not in favor of animal experimentation but it is not as if they were testing agent orange or mustard gas on them. I know people who kill pigs with a knife because they like the taste of bacon.
AJ, Boston, Mass USA

Wanton cruelty. All those lives who had to suffer and painfully die so intelectual man could answer a question.
Isn't bad enough when aminals or humans die acedintlly and have to suffer. I don't understand.
Karlene Kolk, Michigan, USA

what about homo sapient who die in avalanches?
so called animal lovers can take a walk
i am with the scientists who buried PIGS in the snow to research how to save human lives,
when the is a acute case of hypothermia you stupid animal lover will die
you never been in anavalanch you pumkin shut the heck up
Jiju Sreedhar, Lexington Kentucky

you gotta be joking! If humans want to risk their lives climbing up glaciers and partaking in extreme sports where they risk being covered in an avalanche thats their choice but how dare we make innocent, intelligent animals die just so we can figure out how to save these reckless humans who have made poor choices for their entertainment.
And if humans started thinking about the quality of life for beings outside of themselves then making animals suffer for experiments simply wouldn't exist.
john649, Reno, NV

@john649 some children were just snow covered on a piste in Zermatt; so not all people in avalanches are reckless.
Xavier Adam, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England

Filthy, depraved, sickening, unnecessary, wanton cruelty. Nothing less, nothing more. This kind of 'experiment' to provide 'scientific knowledge' is the product of warped human minds. It is enough to make one lose all faith in science and in humanity in general. Appalling. Utterly appalling.
Lionel Friedberg, United States

Without a doubt this is cruelty in the worst fashion. Animals are not inanimate objects. They are breathing creatures. Experiment on those who have had the misfortune to die in avalanches.
Ellen Gong, Hazlet, NJ USA

I wonder if any of you people opposing this eat ham or enjoy a bacon sandwich. Or any other meat for that matter or use products that have been tested on animals to make them safe for humans. Medical or otherwise.

Burying pigs in snow until they die obviously sounds ludicrous but there is the usual hypocrisy and double standards in people's opinions.

My view is that it is seems to go beyond the line and i cant quite see what the experiment will tell anyone except that air pockets help the chance of survival (the bigger the better) and animals need oxygen to breath otherwise they die.

Seems a stupid experiment in the first place.
Dickie Mann, London

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