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Saved avalanche pigs get chop

By David Rogers

Pigs saved from the chop after public protests stopped them being buried alive in snow by scientists are to end up as sausages, say researchers conducting the tests.

Animal rights campaigners have demanded that the Austrian scientists hand over the 19 pigs so they can be re-housed at a refuge.

Plans to bury them alive in snow and monitor their agonising deaths for avalanche survival research were scrapped at the weekend after an animal rights storm.

But now scientists conducting the tests in Sölden, Tyrol, say the pardoned animals are back on death row and will be packed off to the slaughterhouse this week.

Experiment director Peter Paal said today (Tues): "The animal rights activists will not get the pigs. That's for sure. I will not allow the pigs any charity.

"The animals were always destined to be slaughtered for the food industry and they will be taken to be slaughtered in the coming days," he added

But furious animal lovers say they will continue the fight for the pigs.

Johanna Stadler, director of the animal rights organisation "Vier Pfoten" (Four Paws)  said: "We could provide for all the pigs, everything could be prepared."

Researchers in the Tyrolean Alps had originally wanted to study the effects of being caught in an avalanche and chose pigs because of their biological similarity to humans.

Some were completely submerged and others buried up to their necks, and the time they took to die was recorded.

But the teams from the Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine in Italy and the Medical University of Innsbruck stopped the tests after killing ten of 29 pigs following public outrage.

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