Military researchers have dressed live pigs in body armor and strapped them into Humvee simulators that were then blown up with explosives to study the link between roadside bomb blasts and brain injury.
For an 11-month period that ended in December, researchers subjected pigs and rats to about 200 blasts, according to Pentagon documents and interviews. The explosions have ranged in intensity, wounding some of the pigs and killing others. Roadside bombs are the top killer of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Did you know this?
U.S. car companies used live animals, including pigs, for crash tests until the early 1990s. They stopped after protests from animal rights groups, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.