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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
$500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke
    #3981730 - 03/28/05 09:59 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Professor to test stun gun theories on pigs
Mar. 28, 2005
duluthsuperior.com

MADISON, Wis. (AP)- And this little piggy got high on cocaine and pumped with 50,000 volts of electricity.

A professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison plans to study whether stun guns alone can kill pigs - or whether other medical factors must be at play - as part of an effort to understand why 70 people have died in North America since 2001 after being shocked by Tasers.

Led by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, outraged animal rights activists are calling for an end to the two-year study by John Webster, a professor emeritus of biomedical engineering.

Police hail stun guns as a nonlethal way to restrain unruly suspects. But critics blame the weapons for dozens of deaths, and police departments are reviewing how they use the devices, which shoot two small darts carrying about 50,000 volts of electricity to temporarily paralyze people.

Webster wants to test his hypothesis that Taser-related deaths were the result of heart failure fueled by drug use and other medical factors, not electrocution by the devices. To do so, researchers will begin in the next month studying how Taser electrical currents flow through 150-pound pigs.

Of three groups of pigs in the study, one will be given cocaine, one will be shocked with the devices, and one will be given both cocaine and electric blasts. Some will be subjected to Webster's "SuperTaser," up to 30 times as powerful as the model police use. All pigs will be on anesthesia so they won't feel pain.

"If the hypothesis is correct that Tasers do not electrocute the heart, then why are people dying in custody after they have been shot by Tasers? The people on our team have hypotheses why that's true and we intend to answer that question," Webster said. "Our goal is to save lives."

Animal rights activists say the study, funded by a $500,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant, is cruel and unnecessary. They plan protests on the UW-Madison campus starting this week.

"Shocking more pigs is only going to add their numbers to the Taser-related death statistics," Patti Gilman, whose brother died after being shot with a Taser in British Columbia in June 2004, wrote in a letter to the school. "Robert's death never should have happened. And neither should these experiments."

In a letter to PETA this month, UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley said the study could have a significant impact on the use of stun guns. He said researchers have no other alternative than to use pigs, whose hearts are more like humans than any other species.

In Wisconsin, the state Department of Justice convened an advisory committee to create guidelines for police training and use of Tasers. On Tuesday, the committee is scheduled to hold its first public hearing in Stevens Point, where Webster will be among four presenters.

Webster said his research could lead to advice for how police should use the devices, standards for how powerful stun guns can be, and instructions for emergency room physicians on how to treat those who have been shocked.

Webster suggested some of the Taser-related deaths were from a rare condition known as malignant hyperthermia, in which bodies essentially overheat. He will test that theory on swine that have been specially bred to have the condition.

Other suspects may have died if potassium that is released into the blood stream after muscle contractions caused by a Taser shock reached the heart, Webster said. Cocaine use might be another factor, he said.

Webster's research is the first independent look at how Tasers affect pigs' hearts. Research published in January sponsored by Taser International, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based maker of the devices, found that 15 times the charge from ordinary stun guns was needed to electrocute the heart of even the smallest pigs studied.

Taser said Webster is well-qualified to study the devices, which it says are safe. The company says Tasers are being used by more than 7,000 law enforcement, military and correctional agencies in the world.

"We welcome Professor Webster's research as it can provide continued independent research concerning the safety of our life-saving Taser technology," said company spokesman Steve Tuttle.

Taser research on animals dates to 1989, involving dogs, bulls and pigs, but Webster's study is the only known such research now under way, according to PETA.

While all the pigs will be filled with anesthesia, they will be euthanized after the experiments, said Webster, who predicted about 30 pigs would be used. The research could create a computer model that would eliminate the need for more animal testing, he said.

"I think this is an outstanding example of one of those questions that can only be answered using animals," said Eric Sandgren, a UW-Madison professor who heads a committee that oversees animal research. "Boy, there's been a lot of deaths from this. If the alternative is to go back to using bullets, let's find out how to make this safe."

That's a worthy goal, but researchers should instead study humans who have survived Taser shocks and autopsy reports of those who died, said Laura Yanne of PETA. She promised an "unprecedented" protest on Tuesday, but would not release details.

"Subjecting pigs to cruel experiments is not the way to go on this. It's so obvious," she said. "This is a half-million dollar boondoggle."


Edited by veggie (03/29/05 03:13 AM)


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InvisibleTheHateCamel
Research &Development -DBK
Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 15,738
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: veggie]
    #3989073 - 03/30/05 07:46 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

So they are testing these things on cops?


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: veggie]
    #3989730 - 03/30/05 12:39 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

This is the stupidest thing I've heard.... today....


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OfflineSWEDEN
Miracle of Science

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 2,577
Loc: PNW
Last seen: 2 years, 11 months
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: TheHateCamel]
    #3991066 - 03/30/05 05:26 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

:piggy: pigs, cops, are becoming more and more alike so it's hard to say... but I think they will be testing on the kind we eat.


--------------------


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InvisibleTheHateCamel
Research &Development -DBK
Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 15,738
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: SWEDEN]
    #3991602 - 03/30/05 07:36 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

mmm...cops..


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Offlinedebianlinux
Myconerd - DBK
Male User Gallery

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 12/09/02
Posts: 8,271
Loc: Over There
Last seen: 5 days, 1 hour
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: TheHateCamel]
    #3991629 - 03/30/05 07:44 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

TheHateCamel said:
So they are testing these things on cops?




lol, that's great. i had to go read the whole article again to get the full effect!

Somehow, I think anesthesia mixed with cocaine would be plenty strain on the ticker and a good taser blast could easily start an arhythmia and palpitations that could lead to sudden or delayed arrest...common fucking sense. They're right, animal testing is just this guy's sadistic wet dream made real.


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InvisibleTheHateCamel
Research &Development -DBK
Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 15,738
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: debianlinux]
    #3992037 - 03/30/05 09:09 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Totally unnecessary.

A stun gun should be treated exactly like any other gun.


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InvisibleRavus
Not an EggshellWalker
 User Gallery

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
Loc: Cave of the Patriarchs
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: veggie]
    #3992200 - 03/30/05 09:46 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Meh, seems cruel but if it's going on I am still interested in the conclusions drawn from this experiment.

They should try using other drugs just for fun, to see how they react. If cocaine and presumably other stimulants increase the chance of a heart attack from a taser, would heroin and morphine decrease it? Probably not, but the data should still be interesting.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: Ravus]
    #3992246 - 03/30/05 09:57 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

PETA will be pissing and moaning about this one soon.


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OfflinemotamanM
old hand
 User Gallery
Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 6,021
Last seen: 12 days, 8 hours
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: DNKYD]
    #3993073 - 03/31/05 01:29 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

DNKYD said:
PETA will be pissing and moaning about this one soon.




nope.. they would rather harass
DJ's broadcasting the killing pigs for roasts. They have no time for real issues.


--------------------
http://heffter.org


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: $500,000 grant to shock pigs on coke [Re: motaman]
    #3995975 - 03/31/05 05:35 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

motaman said:
They have no time for real issues.




Who does these days? Schiavo, Michael Jackson, Congressional hearing on steroids, the Pope dieing, granting half a mil to study the effect of shocking coked up pigs... I'm sorry, but WTF?


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