Protest Pig Experimentation Via Snow/Asphyxia

Protest Pig Experimentation Via Snow/Asphyxia


PROTESTS from animal activists have forced scientists temporarily to halt research that involved burying pigs in snow and monitoring their deaths.
The two-week experiment, in the western Austrian Alps, was trying to determine what factors made it possible for humans to survive an avalanche in an air pocket until rescued, without suffering permanent brain damage.

Hermann Brugger, co-director of the work, led by the Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine in Bolzano, Italy, and the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, had asserted that the pigs did not suffer because they were sedated beforehand.

But activists called it cruel and pointless.

A total of 29 animals had been selected for the tests, but after protests yesterday, Herbert Lochs, director of the Innsbruck centre, confirmed the experiment had been halted temporarily.

Johanna Stadler, of the group Four Paws, said: “It is absolutely unacceptable these highly sensitive, helpless animals are killed for such an unnecessary test.”

Gerda Matias, president of the International Union of Animal Experiment Opponents, said: “People are shocked and outraged that such cruel experiments can even be carried out in Austria.”

In a statement on the Medical University of Innsbruck website, organisers said the experiment was ethically justifiable and had been approved by a commission in Austria’s science and research ministry.

Mr Brugger said the study could help humans survive an avalanche and stopping now would mean those pigs that had already died did so in vain.

Article Source:

TITLE: Outrage as scientists bury pigs in snow to see how they die.
Published Date: 15 January 2010
By Veronika Oleksyn in Vienna

Where to send your protest letters:

As always, I was only able to send individually-lined, but please try as a grouping either way, via semi-colon or comma, whichever your program supports (thank you, Avril!) since it is usually just my email program vs. a genuine address issue:

Email group w/ semi-colon:;;;;

Email group w/ comma:,,,,

Full contact info:
EURAC research
Viale Druso 1 • 39100 Bozen/Bolzano – Italy
Tel. +39 0471 055 055
Fax +39 0471 055 059

Representing Offices:
EURAC research
Via Ludovisi 45 • 00186 Roma – Italy
Tel. +39 06 420 163 32
Fax +39 06 420 012 62

EURAC research
University of Prishtina
Faculty of Philosophy / Department of Political Science
Rr. Nena Tereze, p.n. • 10000 Prishtina – Kosovo

EURAC research
Fakultet politi?kih nauka
Skenderija 72 • 71000 Sarajevo
Tel. +387 33 558 176
Fax +387 33 558 176

EURAC research
UNEP Vienna
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 500 • 1400 Vienna – Austria
Tel. +43 1 260 60 5616
Fax. +43 1 260 60 75338

Sample letter:

To Whom It May Concern,

I have just learned of a animal testing experiment as planned and promoted by the Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine in Austria; during this study pigs were buried in snow to theorize human safety variables during avalanche conditions and the level of subsequent brain damage. In what has been outrageously underestimated and euphemistically described as a situation whereby “pigs did not suffer because they were sedated beforehand” by Hermann Brugger, co-director of the project (, pigs were deliberated buried in snow and exposed to lethal conditions; indeed, all pigs died of asphyxia, hardly a “humane” approach to death. And although the study has been temporarily halted, I am writing to express my disturbance regarding this experiment and my demand of immediate termination.

Words cannot adequately express the rage felt by myself and others who share the ethical belief that non-human animals have inherent rights, including lives free from human-manufactured exploitation and suffering. The Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine’s attempt at justification using conciliatory rhetoric meant to solicit approval and support is not only repulsive, it is also blatantly false, lies perpetrated by an industry accustomed to spin and dependent upon the, at times intentional, misinterpretation by consumers to foster acceptance. To excuse this deliberate and sadistic cruelty as a means for potential human benefit is nothing but an employ of disingenuous industry lingo, an example of the distortion advocated as care and concern. However, we who recognize the deceptive nature of such promotion understand the reality: those who actually care for animals do not imprison them and expose them to disease and experimentation; those who actually concern themselves with animals would never subject them to pain, suffering, and agony and the denial of companionship and comfort.

From a pragmatic standpoint, if we could adequately determine the effects of environmental factors, situations, or even drugs using animals in general, then human trials would be unnecessary, a costly redundancy of testing protocols. As such, if animals cannot be used to predict a human outcome in general, then how can they be used to predict safety under particular environmental circumstances? Each situation is unique, each person’s and animal’s response an individual one deeming any exclamation of fact completely invalid. Attempting to establish an absolute truth and consequence scenario is a ridiculous premise, one on which you place the lives of humans and the death of animals utilizing a publicity machine employing deceptive statements and misleading assertions fabricated by unscrupulous “scientists” to garner social approval. Indeed, to establish your legitimacy, you constantly promote the idea that those opposed to animal experimentation are supportive of human suffering. What an insidious remark, effective in its subtlety to gain public endorsement while at the same time fostering a hatred towards anti-vivisectionists, labeling us as misanthropists. I can assure you, I am neither ethically challenged nor stupid: your false assertions are nothing but pathetic attempts to rationalize a morally deficient industry where you capitalize on the fear of people and exploitation of animals.

Animal experimentation is unnecessary, unjustified, and unprincipled, its only function to financially benefit those who exploit animals; you are not invisible and your actions are indefensible. Animals have rights to live free from pain and suffering regardless of your objections to acknowledge such, and as long as you profit from the torture of animals, complicit in their abuse and death, I will continue campaigning on their behalf. Please adopt a compassionate and sensible position: rather than exploiting sentient animals to such immoral conditions, perhaps you should champion proactive solutions instead including prediction efficacy.

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