Friday, May 14, 2010
*** October 5th 2012 update ****
Now we're performing experiments of killing these pigs and injecting their braincells into our brains, to try and cure Parkinsons.
The Southland Times "Human Pig Cell Transplant Trial Approved"
*EDIT* I've linked to the screenshots I took here http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaywontdart/sets/72157623932869503/ *EDIT*
Original news report website no longer available, here is the video
The Auckland Island pigs were left on a bunch of small islands on the way to Antartica, the Auckland Islands (absolutely nothing to do with Auckland, New Zealands largest city)
Why were pigs released on these islands? Why, in case Whalers were shipwrecked, they were left there to killed, if desired, as "food".
Ah, but then two centuries later we got all "politically correct", and decided as as "introduced species", they had to go. And go they did, by our Department of "Conservation", DOC, who sent in the hunters.
A few were captured, and dragged back to the South Island, where I live. They are now recognised as "disease free" from living in isolation, on a stunningly beautiful island in the middle of nowhere....those we didnt kill, are now to be used in medical experiments to take their pancreas, which will be processed, and the end result giving to Diabetic humans.
We wouldnt do this to other humans, (well...maybe we would....maybe we ARE... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guatemala_syphilis_experiment ...), why are we doing this to nonhuman animals? I think its particularly odd since we've just had a big "Victory" in "phasing out" quote "Factory Farming",
These poor Auckland Island pigs are now to live in concrete CELLS, to be hosed down each day, never allowed outside contact, like a "bubble boy".
The Mayor of my city, Invercargill claims responsibility, as you'll see in this video. To my knowledge, footage of the facility here, perhaps 20 odd kilometres away from me right now, has always been kept Top Secret. The location of the facility itself is "hidden".
Here, in an Australian news video, we are shown around inside. It is horribly graphic, and yet only ever described as a marvellous business opportunity for my area, praise given to Mayor Tim Shadbolt in particular, and how this is *sure* to be a cure for all that ails humans.
I was absolutely horrified to watch a recent Australian video ( http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunday-night/blogs/article/-/article/7189393/guinea-pigs/ ) of the Living Cell Technology (LCT) Pig Farm, near Invercargill where I live.
I've seen both The Animals Film and Earthlings, I understood about experimenting on Animals, but it always seemed distant. This Pig Farm, in an undisclosed location, is probably less than 10 minutes drive by car from my actual house. Its awful, just awful, to think that this is happening in New Zealand. I thought we were "Clean and Green", this utterly shatters that myth. The footage shown of these poor pigs living area, is just shocking. Concrete walls, as horrible as any "factory farm". And yet these pigs are worth "$300,000" each.
Some months ago I had written to my local newspaper, The Southland Times about these awful pig to human transplants:
"I would like to know the actual plan when it comes to using pigs for organ transplant. I've asked both the mayor and Living Cell Technologies to be honest about what their procedures involve.
How I understood the mayor's last article, investors are being asked to spend $3 billion on a factory farm.
From what I understand of the process – admittedly very little – the pigs will be monitored in a sterile cell block, kept alive for their organs and blood? Will it be like in The Matrix: bodies encased in a pink slime, tubes every which way? Who knows?
And for this, these poor pigs will find themselves being trademarked as "Diabecell". What is that exactly? Is it an organ attached to a person? A series of injections?
I would genuinely like to be informed.
Can't we return these poor pigs back to their lovely remote holiday home on the Auckland Islands to live their lives free of mad science? Or will the dollar signs win out? Jordan Wyatt, Invercargill"
I received a public reply from LCT :
"Living Cell Technologies chief executive Paul Tan replies:
Living Cell Technologies (LCT) is breeding pigs in special facilities in Invercargill. The intention is to use pig tissue to treat human diseases rather than as a source of food.
No experiments are conducted on the pigs. They are housed in environmentally controlled facilities that give them a very comfortable existence and protect them from the viruses that modern pig herds have. They each have their own pen, which is a large area so that the pig can move around and lie out full length in any direction. They are let out of their pens twice a day for their exercise, to play and socialise with the other pigs. The pigs are given toys and the staff spend time grooming, bathing and giving attention.
The pancreas of young piglets are taken to obtain cells that produce insulin. The piglets are anaesthetised for the pancreas to be removed and they are then humanely euthanized while still under anaesthesia. In a separate manufacturing unit the cells are processed into gel capsules and the product, Diabecell (registered trade mark), can be implanted into the abdomen of someone with type-1 diabetes. In this form of diabetes, the insulin producing cells of the pancreas have been destroyed and the person becomes insulin deficient. It is treated with lifesaving insulin injections but this still causes life threatening swings in blood glucose levels. The implanted pig cells produce insulin when blood glucose is high and switch off when blood glucose returns to normal.
Pigs are used because pig insulin is very similar to human insulin. Prior to genetically modified human insulin becoming today's standard treatment, pig insulin was routinely used to treat human diabetes for many decades.
The pigs were left on the Auckland Islands by sailors as a food source. DOC would like to remove all the pigs from the Auckland Islands to protect the plant and birdlife there.
By breeding these unique pigs in comfortable conditions not only are we preserving the breed, their tissues are used to save human lives.
We are aware that Southland has an active social and economic development programme and our company is pleased to be part of its progress."
The way these animals are kept, would surely be illegal if they were any "pet" class animal. These pigs are "…let out of their pens twice a day for their exercise, to play and socialise with the other pigs. The pigs are given toys and the staff spend time grooming, bathing and giving attention." But for the majority of their time, it appears, they live in concrete cubicles, like the worst examples of quote "factory farming". I would guess each pig has a couple metres to call its own, with bland concrete wars on three sides, and a barred gate. I would feel terrible if I left my Chicken Friends in their shed ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaywontdart/sets/72157623271446744/ )for a single day, but in both in terms of actual space and in proportion for their size, they would have far more room to move. And yet, this is how these pigs will live their lives, surrounded by sterile concrete, oh, except for the two times a day they get to "socialize".
Here is a link to the screenshots
You can see the full video here
I am terribly disheartened to know this kind of experimenting on animals happens so close to home. The Animals Film and Earthlings feel so much more tangible now.
See also my episode covering the Auckland Island Pigs, Episode 28 Factory Farming $300K Pigs