Pressure Stops Experiments


Avalanche Experiments Stopped For Now Thanks to Massive International Criticism!

Scientists attempting to gain a clearer insight into how and why around 20% of avalanche victims survive for up to 2 hours under snow have had their experiment stopped due to public outcry at the animal cruelty involved. In a fire station near Vent in Tirol Austria researchers buried pigs alive in a mini self constructed avalanche and monitored the pigs’ slow death from a nearby tent . This procedure was carried out on an unfortunate 9 pigs before the public and animal welfare organizations were alerted. On the same day it was possible to get a halt called on the experiment continuing thanks to the immediate action of protesters and media coverage.

Protesters at the scene visited the Mayor on Friday morning to get his assurance that the experiments would not be allowed to continue, but in a surprising turn he fully supports the researchers and would have no hesitation in letting the experiments continue if and when the responsible university allows it. A surprising response given the international public outcry and the fact that his region is a tourist reliant skiing area. In contrast to Mayor Schöpf the mountain rescue organization has distanced itself from the experiments commenting that they are unnecessary . Today the animal welfare organization Four Paws has been attempting to buy the remaining 20 pigs who would then be allowed to live out their natural lives at an Austrian sanctuary, but the farmer responsible for supplying the pigs for the experiments and scientist Dr Peter Paal are refusing to cooperate insisting that the pigs will be slaughtered for meat rather than letting Four Paws save them. The region’s tourist board as well as counselor Anton Steixner have also condemned the experiments. Now it remains to be seen whether the responsible university will permit Paal and his colleagues to continue at a later date.

On the scene around 30 protesters demonstrated outside the local government offices and on the ski pists. In Graz animal campaigners made their own avalanche on the market square and buried a protester wearing a pig mask. Radio stations reported on the action throughout the day.

It is encouraging to see that the fate of 29 pigs can cause an international outrage. But let’s not forget the countless millions of other animals used in research and reared for meat. They too are individuals with their own fate to be decided by us.


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© Keith Mann