Yucatan Mini Pigs: The Precious New Face of Animal Testing Research

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I found myself in a very interesting conversation about saving cost on animal testing research with a roommate of mine who interned with a medical device company (name must remain confidential) last year. Part of his job was to study trends, research industries, conduct audits and ultimately decide whether the company should pay to conduct certain animal testing research in its own facilities or outsource the studies to other laboratories. The world of animal testing is a lot more specific, complicated and organized than I had imagined. Currently, in the pig testing industry, a popular trend is the use of the Yucatan mini pig from breeders in Central America. Pigs, at a certain size, between 40 - 60 kg have a very high physiological resemblance to the human body and therefore are extremely useful in obtaining accurate research results. Currently, most researchers contact a breeder of research subjects who raise these animals in controlled, closely monitored and uniform environments in order to create greater control of the experiment. They request pigs and attempt to order them in the correct weight, but after the time it takes to construct the experiment, order, transport and prep the subjects for testing, they can grow out of this optimal weight and ruin the control of the experiment. In come the mini pigs. These Yucatan mini pigs grow into these prime weight interval and remain there for the remainder of their lives. The catch is that each of these pigs has a $2,000 price tag attached to them, while the local selections cost only $200. The question becomes: how valuable is near complete control for the experiments of this major medical company?

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This page contains a single entry by jacks904 published on December 6, 2012 3:35 PM.

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