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British end using goats in tests

LONDON – The British military said Wednesday it will no longer use goats in experiments to gauge the risks of evacuating a submerged submarine.

The tests, conducted for years by the Ministry of Defense, involved herding the animals into a special chamber and then drastically changing the air pressure.

The tests were meant to simulate what sailors would experience should they need to evacuate a submerged submarine. The difference in pressure between the deep sea and the surface can cause fatal decompression sickness, often referred to as the bends.

Goats were chosen because of their physiological similarities to human beings.

Six goats died in the experiments between 2000 and November 2006, and 122 others were slaughtered afterward.

Animal rights groups complained about the tests for years, saying they were cruel and unnecessary.


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