Dogs and monkeys have been used in the United States space programme and now there is a possibility that pigs would be used in the U.
OHMI'S FARM; OHMI TENDING HIS 200 MINIATURE PIGS: VARIOUS SHOTS OF THE MINIATURE PIGS: SHOTS COMPARING HIS MINIATURE PIGS WITH NORMAL-SIZED ONES.
NOTE TO FSE:--
1. ATTACHED IS A COPY OF MY SCRIPT FOR THESE WRETCHED MINI-PIGS.
2. RE SHOTS SHOWING PIGLETS BEING SUCKLED BY SOW. THE PIGLETS ARE IN FACT BABY OR INFANT MINI-PIGS, AND THE SOW IS THE MINI-PIG IN QUESTION AND MEASURES APPROX 20 INCHES IN LENGTH.
3. THE COVERAGE CONCENTRATES ON THE SOW, OR PIGS OF THAT SIZE, MAINLY BECAUSE THESE MINI-PIGS WILL EVENTUALLY GO TO NASA FOR ITS SPACE PROGRAMME.
4. I WAS ADVISED BY THE CAMERAMAN THAT THERE ARE SOME SHOTS OF NORMAL-SIZED PIGS, WHICH WERE USED BY THE FARMER TO BREED THESE MINI-PIGS (SOW). THEY ARE TO BE USED FOR COMPARISON PURPOSES.
5. SO WE'VE GOT BASICALLY THREE GENERATIONS OF PIGS ON FILM, AND THE COVERAGE MIGHT MAKE A NICE BEDTIME STORY FOR SOME YOUNG AFRICAN IN BOTSWANA. BUT THE ADULT STORYLINE SHOULD MENTION JAPAN'S ASSAULT ON DARWIN'S THEORY AND DEFT MANIPULATION OF THE GENES.
FYI: THE CLIPPING EYE GOT FROM TINE VAN HOUTS WAS FROM THE GUARDIAN. HER LETTER ALSO MENTIONS THAT FACT. CHEERS.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Dogs and monkeys have been used in the United States space programme and now there is a possibility that pigs would be used in the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space shuttle flights.
The first pigs to orbit the earth will come from Japan, where the smallest pigs in the world have been bred. They weigh just 66 lbs.. a tenth of conventional pigs, and are a mere 20 ins long.
This long-haired black species of pig is bred by Hiroshi Ohmi at his farm in Tochigi Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo. He calls his pigs "miniature Japan", but the Japanese press has christened them "pignauts".
Ohmi began working on the mini-pig 17 years ago from a Chinese variety weighing about 160 lbs. He has since reduced to 66 lbs, certified as the smallest pig in the world at the 1971 Asia-Pacific conference on experimental animals.
Hiroshi Ohmi has been approached by NASA officials and he anticipates going to the United States this summer to discuss the possibility of lending his pigs for NASA's space shuttle programme.
He explains that biologically the body structure and organs of pigs resemble those o human beings more closely than dogs and monkeys, making them more suitable as research animals. But the normal-sized pig has proved too heavy and cumbersome for space research.
There are 200 miniature pigs on Ohmi's farm right now. Although he doesn't know how many NASA will require, he, himself, has ear-marked 20 of them as future "pignauts" for the space shuttle flights.