HAVE YOU HEARD OF “JUDAS PIGS?”
“Judas pigs,” sometimes referred to as "Judas animals," are animals who are used to betray and locate their wild mates, often for the purpose of unwanted species control or eradication.
Typically, these pigs are captured from the wild and fitted with some sort of radio transmitter so that their location can be tracked. They are then released back to the wild with the expectation that they will find and join up with other pigs. In other words, they will unknowingly lead hunters directly to other pigs to kill.
You might be wondering what this has to do with animal testing. Well, it’s common knowledge that humans try and control the populations of unwanted or invasive species by using deadly traps, poison, guns, and other weapons. But, have you ever thought about the animals who have been used in cruel tests to try and find the “best” and most cost-effective ways of killing unwanted wild animals?
We discovered a deeply upsetting animal experiment1 that was conducted in NZ aimed at trying to find the most effective ways of using these so-called “Judas pigs.”
THE EXPERIMENT WE DISCOVERED
Four adult female pigs were captured from the wild using a netgun from a helicopter. Then, they were anaesthetised and surgically sterilised. They were operated on out in the open, without any kind of shelter, which resulted in one of the pigs getting hypothermia from the wind! You can see exactly what this looked like in the image below.
Then, radio transmitters were surgically implanted either into the belly or under their skin. Additional trackers (ear tags and collars) were used, too, so each pig had three different trackers, making them easy to locate again in the future.
The pigs were then released close to the location where they were captured and were left to live a normal life (besides having radio transmitters implanted and attached to them) for more than 100 days.
After 104 days, these pigs were once again captured. Then, they were killed (the research paper did not mention how exactly they were killed) and dissected. Sentient lives whipped out. Gone.
Pigs, like all animals, deserve better than this. This is just one of the many reasons why NZAVS works so hard to #endanimaltesting.
Together, we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.
Learn more about how pigs are exploited for science here.