In Safety Study, Sheep on Meth Are Shocked With Tasers

By Phungushead · Apr 14, 2010 · ·
  1. Phungushead
    In Safety Study, Sheep on Meth Are Shocked With Tasers

    The study aimed to test whether Taser devices have caused heart-related problems or death in meth-addled suspects

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug, but getting shocked with a Taser while riding high on methamphetamines probably beats any white-knuckled cocaine experience hands down. And that's exactly what happened to some lucky sheep in a new study that tested the effects of Tasers on meth-addled targets, funded in part by Taser International.

    There's at least some scientific reasoning behind all the apparent madness. Growing abuse of methamphetamines has led to arrest-related deaths in situations where law enforcement officers used their Tasers on drug-intoxicated suspects. The latest study was designed to test whether electronic control devices (e.g. Tasers) can lead to dangerous cardiac responses in meth-intoxicated humans, with sheep standing in for people.

    The less-lethal device of choice was the Taser X26, a standard law enforcement tool which can fire at suspects from a distance of 35 feet. Researchers shocked sixteen anesthetized sheep after dosing the animals with an IV drip of methamphetamine hydrochloride.

    Some of the smaller sheep weighing less than 70.5 pounds suffered exacerbated heart symptoms related to meth use. But neither the smaller nor larger sheep showed signs of the ventricular fibrillation condition, a highly abnormal heart rhythm that can become fatal.

    The study that appears in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine openly lists a few caveats. Aside from being partially funded by Taser International, the study authors include two physicians who represent medical consultants and stockholders of the company. One of the two is also the medical director of Taser International.

    Still, Taser has an understandable interest in assessing the safety of its less-lethal devices in these types of extreme conditions. Taser devices have evolved into a wide-ranging family that includes Taser shotgun cartridges that fire from a 12-gauge shotgun at up to 100 feet. The company has also teamed up with the Pentagon to develop shock cartridges for a grenade launcher.

    Taser has even had its employees put themselves on the firing line to vouch for the safety of its products.

    Certainly police would rather have less-lethal options for tricky situations involving meth. We can all probably agree that less Taser use is better, but that they are certainly preferable to more lethal methods of subduing criminals in certain situations. Outraged animal rights activists, however, can begin writing their letters of protest now.

    04.12.2010 at 5:18 pm

    By Jeremy Hsu

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    the research paper has been uploaded to the archives (thanks to nnizzle) here

    the required disclaimer:
  2. TheOpium
    Jesus Christ the sheep looks bad.. :/
  3. missparkles
    No LEO can possibly know if someone has a heart condition, hell, sometimes the person with the heart condition is unaware of it, so use of this medieval electronic truncheon should be stopped. And to date cops have not been erring on the side of caution when using it. It'd barbaric.

  4. Coconut
    I reckon many cops love the opportunity of using a taser on someone, whether said suspect is violent or not, or even a real suspect for that matter. Inflicting pain on other humans causes a thrilling adrenaline rush as the body prepares to fight, which after repeated exposure probably becomes addictive.
  5. godztear
    I'm not an animal rights activist but I don't condone torturing of any animal at all.

    This just made me laugh so hard it almost brought tears to my eyes. The first paragraph is worded perfectly. I"m sure they could have found a perfectly willing meth addict to take a shot with a taser for some free bags. On the contrary it was, "Lets get this sheep jacked up and shoot it with a taser YEHAW!"
  6. savant idiot
    SWIM wonders what effect "anesthetizing" the sheep, before giving them the meth, would have on the results of their tests. Can anyone hazard a guess?
  7. Synchronium
    Ethics. Why taze a conscious sheep when an unconscious one would do fine?

    Scientists don't just do shit for no reason. A lot of planning has to go into every experiment.
  8. savant idiot
    But would it make them more likely or less likely to experience heart problems?

    Meth users are not known for having the opportunity to anesthetize themselves just before getting tased, so the results in these sheep could turn out quite differently to the results in real meth users.
  9. Ballad of Birds
    It is a screen cap from the movie Black Sheep (not Chris Farley)
  10. kailey_elise
    I wonder the exact same thing. When LEO are busting out their Tasers, it's not like the person they're raring up to shoot is laying docilely on the ground or anything. I also wonder what effect being anesthetized has on the heart rate, both while on meth & while being Taser'd, methamphetamine in the system or not.

    It's well-known that spraying someone jacked on cocaine with pepper spray can fuck them up royally & even kill them (I can't recall atm if it causes heart attacks or something like that), but the point is, the LEOs have NO IDEA what substance, if any, a belligerent person has in their system. And these "non-lethal" weapons HAVE KILLED people.

    Well. That pretty much says it all right there, now doesn't it? Kinda like when Perdue Pharma showed there own studies claiming that this extended release formula of oxycodone, called Oxycontin, wasn't addictive & had no withdrawal/discontinuation syndrome, right? ;)

    As I said something similar above, I obviously agree wholeheartedly with Missparkles on this topic.


  11. Euphoric
    I think some "science" is done to "prove" points financers want proved.

    Furthermore, I vaguely recall reading somewhere that animal testing (even when done with animals like chimps with genetic make-ups very similar to humans) gives an idea of how a product will affect humans less than 50% of the time.
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