Writing this entry reminds me of the atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War Two. I read some post-war reports that depicting the harmful effects exerted on people living in these 2 places after the explosion. Because of the radioactive contamination, the offspring of the affected people infected with different diseases easily. The following experiment, though doesn’t correlate with radioactive contamination, it does deal with explosion. This experiment is proposed by British scientists in as to imitate the situation after explosion by terrorists. They want to know how the citizens should react after explosion in order to raise their survival chances. This study is funded by Porton Down, home of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.
The experiment is to launch an explosion 3 meters away from 18 pigs which are wrapped by fire blankets. After the explosion, the scientists will count how long the pigs can survive under serious injuries. In order to acquire accurate data, tubes and wires are inserted into the pigs’ blood vessels so that they will be torn open by the blast. The scientists believe that the result will help estimating how many blood a soldier can lose before dying. According to the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, the experiment can provide useful data to save casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. The UK army are thus more guaranteed and protected. However, some people argue if the experiment is valid. First of all, the pigs in the experiment are injected with narcosis. Secondly, human behavior is different from the pigs. Calculating blood loss really helps increasing the survival chances of soldiers? I doubt.
As expected, this experiment outrages the animal protection organizations. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) condemned Porton Down for this unethical experiment. ‘Subjecting animals to such appalling suffering, and in some experiments, massive mutilation and injury, raises profound ethical questions,’ says Sarah Kite of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). In fact, the issue about whether it is right to use animal as experiment subject has been controversial for decades.
It is understandable that such experiments emerge nowadays as the fear towards terrorists has been intensifying. The families want more protection for their sons who fight at the frontline. More and more counties invest gravely in military science and even military expansion. Soldiers’ lives become more crucial after learning several lessons in Iraq Wars. In fact, this experiment is not even the major one in the lab. It is believe that in the same period, some 75,000 animals have been used in other experiments at the Ministry of Defense-funded facility. Sarcastically, this trend will be unstoppable as long as the powers focus on military science which is one of the important aspects being developed.