In a recent study found in the American Emergency Medicine Journal, 16 sheep were involved in an experimental atrocity that was aimed at testing how being shocked with a Taser affects the heart of meth-induced targets.
There is some scientific reasoning behind all the apparent madness, however.
Growing abuse of methamphetamines has led to arrest-related deaths in situations where law enforcement officers used their Taser devices to combat uncooperative, drug-intoxicated suspects.
These experiments were conducted at the Hennepin County Medical Center under Taser International’s Medical director, Jeffrey Ho. It was designed to test whether Tasers can lead to dangerous cardiac responses in meth-intoxicated humans. In this case, sheep stood in for uncooperative people.
The less lethal device of choice was the Taser X26, a standard law enforcement tool that can fire at suspects from a distance of 35 feet.
Researchers shocked the anesthetized sheep for up to 40 seconds, after dosing the animals with an IV drip of methamphetamine hydrochloride.
Some of the smaller sheep weighing less than 70.5 pounds suffered intense heart symptoms related to meth use – symptoms like increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. But neither the smaller nor larger sheep showed signs of the ventricular fibrillation condition, a highly abnormal heart rhythm that can be fatal.
Still, Taser has an understandable interest in assessing the safety of its less-lethal devices in these types of conditions.
Taser devices have evolved into a wide-ranging family that includes Taser shotgun cartridges that fire from a 12-gauge shotgun up to 100 feet. Taser has even had its employees put themselves on the firing line to vouch for the safety of its products.
Outraged animal rights activists, however, can begin writing their letters of protest now.