Monday, June 05, 2006

A Call to Action: University Of Wisconsin-Madison Taser Experiments on Live Pigs

Very simple. Follow below:

Please let your voice be heard--so more animals aren't
tragically killed!!

Results of UW Pig Experiment Contradict Taser
Manufacturer's Animal Data
Professor John Webster has concluded his infamous
experiments on live pigs at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison (UW), and his “shocking” discovery
is that Tasering pigs is very different from Tasering
humans.

Based on a report authored by Taser International
consultant Wayne McDaniel—along with Robert
Stratbucker and Max Nerheim, who conducted tests on
pigs and concluded that Tasers were safe—Webster
expected to prove his hypothesis that Tasers cannot
electrocute the heart. But Webster has now posted an
abstract on his Web site with results that he did not
anticipate: “It is possible to cause ventricular
fibrillation in pigs using a Taser [electro-muscular
disruption] device.” The experimenters were also able
to induce ventricular fibrillation in all the animals.
Webster realized that this is because pigs are
naturally protected from electrocution by thick layers
of fat and muscle that are not found in humans. In a
recent e-mail to PETA, Webster explained that Taser’s
animal data initially led him to think that “it was
not possible to electrocute the heart with a Taser.
Working with colleagues who understand the differences
between pigs and humans, we changed our mind.” When
Webster shocked the pigs after removing the animals’
extra tissue in order to approximate the thickness
found in humans, the Taser was a far cry from a
nonlethal weapon.

After PETA pointed out Stratbucker’s employment at
Taser International, he was ejected from his paid
consultancy on the UW Taser experiment. The university
ignored our effort to oust McDaniel, who was also a
consultant for the UW experiment, for the same
conflict of interests. (Of course, PETA also pointed
out the fact that reasonable comparisons cannot be
made between pigs and humans.)

Taser International’s Animal-Based Safety Assertions
Called Into Question
The UW results directly contradict Taser
International’s conclusions, which the company based
on its own history of animal experiments, including a
series of tests on pigs in a home garage and at a
“horse facility” in Phoenix, as well as its
participation in Air Force experiments on conscious
pigs. Despite the rising number of Taser-related
deaths, the company continues to assert that its
product is safe.

What Does This Say About Testing on Animals?
No sooner had Webster posted his findings than Taser
almost simultaneously issued a news release announcing
yet another recent pig experiment with the incredible
headline “Cleveland Clinic Study Shows That Cocaine
Actually Increases the Taser Safety Margin.”Once
again, this new Taser study fails to consider that pig
physiology naturally prevents cardiac electrocution.
And guess who funded the experiment? It was Taser
International.

Animal Tests Discredited
Taser experiments on animals are crude and cruel, and
the experiments’ variables are subject to
manipulation, even when nearly identical experiments
are performed. How many more animals must die before
Taser’s researchers and manufacturers will be
convinced that human data is the only information that
is relevant to humans?

Webster has said that he has “not applied for future
grants.” This is excellent news given the fact that
grant extensions and variations on the theme of
Tasering animals seem to be popular with funding
agencies.

Tell the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) that you
don’t want any more taxpayer-funded Taser “surprises”!
Urge the NIJ to fund studies of human populations and
stop testing weapons on animals:

Glenn Schmitt, Acting Director
National Institute of Justice
810 Seventh St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20531
glenn.schmitt@usdoj.gov
202-307-2942
202-307-6394 (fax)

Tell Taser CEO Rick Smith that enough is enough and
that experimenting on animals does not prove anything:

Rick Smith, CEO
Taser International
17800 N. 85th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
rick@taser.com
480-978-2000
1-800-978-2737

Please write immediately to Chancellor Wiley and to
the National Institute of Justice.
Spread the word.

John D. Wiley, Chancellor
University of Wisconsin-Madison
161 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9946
608-262-8333 (fax)
jdwiley@bascom.wisc.edu
chancellor@news.wisc.edu

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