Scientists end experiments burying pigs in snow

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Scientists say they will no longer conduct avalanche experiments monitoring the deaths of pigs buried in snow, after animal rights groups protested their methods.

Anesthesiologist Peter Paal says he and his colleagues decided Friday to stop their work because of growing media pressure generated by activists calling it cruel and pointless. The project in the Austrian Alps was focused on establishing what factors make it possible for humans to survive an avalanche in an air pocket until rescued without suffering permanent brain damage.

The scientists had argued that during two weeks of experiments no pigs had suffered because they were sedated and given an anesthetic beforehand.

-- Associated Press