Pigs in Research
Pigs are highly intelligent and social creatures that have been used in a wide variety of research protocols, most notably for cardiovascular research. In 2014, 45,392 pigs were used in research protocols in the U.S., which represents a 19% decrease from the previous year. Some researchers use pigs to model human skin, and thus pigs have been subjected to dermatological studies involving wound healing and plastic surgery procedures. In addition to being used in toxicology and pharmacology studies, pigs are used in studies of diabetes, alcoholism, ulcers, and transplantation. Minipigs, selectively bred to have a slower growth rate and a smaller mature size than traditional farm pigs, are used in many kinds of biomedical studies, including pharmacological and toxicity studies, studies involving regenerative medicine and transplantation, as well as for the generation of medical products.