China Using Live Pigs in Sickening Crash Test: Fact Check


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Image of China Using Live Pigs in Sickening Crash Test
China Using Live Pigs in Sickening Crash Test

Story:

China Using Live Pigs in Sickening Crash Test

Other Versions

Live Baby Pigs Used as Crash Test Dummies

Fact Check:

Some disheartening and alarming pictures doing rounds online claim to show China is using Live Pigs as Crash Test dummies. The images show pigs positioned in seats, strapped in with various seatbelts and mounted on a sled. Yes, the claims are true – they are used as part of a scientific study.

Image of China Using Live Pigs in Sickening Crash Tests

Live Pigs Used for Crash Test in China

The baby pigs were used as dummies in a crash test – they were seated and tied before being slammed into a wall with an impact speed of 30 or 50 km/h. Chinaโ€™s Research Institute for Traffic Medicine and Daping Hospital have conducted the experiments to mimic human injuries in a car crash. The animals either died immediately on impact or hours later due to serious injuries during the cruel testing. According to reports, the experiment killed seven of the 15 pigs used in the testing.

Image of China Using Live Pigs in Sickening Crash Tests

About the Study and Response of Researchers

An article on Daily Mail Online website reporting the outrage on the incident mentioned the scientists’ response. The scientists insisted they followed guidelines of United States for the use of laboratory animals, adding an ethics committee approved their study. They justified the use of immature pigs by saying their anatomic structure was ‘similar’ to that of human children aged 6 years old.

The researchers published an article of the study in International Journal of Crashworthiness earlier in January 2019. It carried the title ‘A study of thoracoabdominal injury of immature pigs restrained by various belts in front crashes‘. The researchers said the results of the study may be useful to learn the paediatric thoracoabdominal injuries, adding necessity of further studies concerning the paediatric injuries.

PETA Responds

The images of the live pigs used as crash test dummies garnered lot of criticism from animal lovers. U.S.-based animal rights organization PETA also responded on the incident. PETA spoke out against the reported use of live animals, including pigs and dogs, as crash test dummies for cars by researchers in China. Allegedly, even dogs went through a similar trial as the pigs. PETA said the animals go through cruel crash test, either killing them or leaving them with broken bones and severe internal injuries. The ones that survive are killed and dissected later on.

PETA wrote a letter to Chinaโ€™s Research Institute for Traffic Medicine and Daping Hospital urging them to stop using live animals in such crude car-crash tests.

For your information, most of the countries including the United States have banned the practice of using animals for such cruel tests. Modern day technology allows use of advanced crash test dummies instead of live animals. While using the advanced crash test dummies is a costly affair, some researchers choose live animals as they are easily available.

Hoax or Fact:

Fact.


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Prashanth Damarla
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