Protests around live burying of pigs in Austria

Austria has seen a remarkable discussion these days around a scientific experiment in which 29 pigs would be buried alive in snow.

Scientists had hoped to gather new knowledge as to how animals and human beings react when they get snowed under through avalanches – but had to cancel the experiment due to massive protests of members of the public.

Animal welfare
Animal welfare activists spoke of a repulsive and unethical experiment. In the trial which would've been held in the Austrian Ötztal, University of Innsbruck scientists had intended to anaesthesise the pigs before an simulated avalanche would come down on them.

Prior to the trial, the pigs would have been connected to medical devices, which meant the researchers could follow their disease process from minute to minute. The trial was expected to last two weeks – with two to three pigs dying every day.

After the trial, the dead pigs would've been dug up again and submitted to pathological scientific research.

Left-wing parties in Austrian parliament had already asked for a debate around the trial.

Herman Brugger, Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine, Bozen, indicated his disappointment of the cancellation of the trials, by saying, "We would only like to save human lives."

Related website:
• University of Innsbruck

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