Animal rights advocates are condemning the actions of a group of Chinese researchers who have reportedly been using live pigs as crash test dummies.
One particular case study from the said scientists involved 15 young pigs being strapped into car seats for high-speed simulations. As a result of the crash tests, seven of the pigs died.
Aside from being subjected to the horrors of a crash simulation and potential death, the terrorized piglets were also denied food and water hours before the tests.
Aged just 70 and 80 days old, the 15 pigs took the place of dummies, strapped in with various kinds of seat belts on a seat mounted on a sled before being subjected to high-speed crashes as fast as 30 miles per hour.
After being slammed into a wall, the pigs sustained a variety of injuries such as bleeding, lacerations, abrasions, fractures and internal bruising.
However, for the full 24-hour period before the test, the animals were not fed. They were also prevented from drinking any water about six hours prior.
Justifying their use of live pigs in the tests, the researchers pointed out that the animals’ anatomic structure was “similar” to that of human children. They also noted that the use of the pigs was intended to “mimic children of six years old.”
The researchers admitted that, in the past 10 years, it had used thousands of animals such as pigs, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, rats and mice in its laboratories.
They insisted that their procedures were done according to the United States guidelines for the use of laboratory animals.
They further noted that an ethics committee had approved their study. It is worth noting, however, that the practice of using pigs and other animals in crash tests was ended in the U.S. around the 1990s.
“Letting intelligent and sensitive animals like pigs crash into walls in high-speed tests in China is simply cruel. It leads to broken bones, internal bruising, lacerations and horrible deaths,” PETA spokesperson Anne Meinert was quoted as saying by the German newspaper Bild.
According to Renate Künast of Germany’s Green party, companies who are genuinely interested in protecting children should prefer using modern crash test dummies instead of living pigs.
Current crash test dummies are highly advanced and come in different variations. Some dummies are even embedded with sensors inside to allow accurate measurement of forces of impact at different points. Compared to pigs, the dummies provide a far more accurate representation of a person’s crash injuries.