Shocking Animal Abuse – Agroscope, Fit Cows With Portholes to Test Digestion

Man’s inhumanity to the other species with whom we share this world never ceases to shock me.

At Agroscope, situated in Grangeneuve, Switzerland, 14 cows have been fitted  with portholes – cannulas –  in their sides. Cows treated this way are called Cannulated cows. The hole, which is cut directly into the cows rumen and allows access to the stomach,  is 15 centimetres in diameter and has a screwable lid made of rubber. Effectively this procedure leaves an open wound in a cow’s body for life.

The purpose of this horrendous mutilation is to test the digestion of different experimental blends of oats to create a more balanced feed for the animals.

The following videos show  unbelievable abuse of a sentient creature, not only is cannulation cruel but it treats a living being as though she is a commodity, as though she is just a hunk of flesh with no feelings.


The videos below may be upsetting to some people – well if you are a sensitive person who objects to cows having a hole cut in their sides –  in particular the last video.

Published on Feb 7, 2014

At Agroscope, situated in Grangeneuve, Switzerland, 14 cows have been fitted with portholes in their sides. It cuts through their left flank, permitting access to the inside of the ruminants’ belly. This method makes it possible to test a more balanced pasture for the animals.

One of the comments after the video asks: What kind of aberration is that? People can’t make a hole on a live being and put a door on it like nothing. It’s a open wound that expose the animal to infections, diseases, rejection…There are psychopaths on films that have done lighter things than that.

Frankly I think anyone who can do that to a living being with cold callous indifference is a psychopath or sociopath and many scientists give this impression don’t they, rather like the cold indifference with which the Danish scientist killed and cut up Marious the giraffe with comments like:

“We were open about it because we know [the euthanasia] was the right thing to do, If we’re serious about science, we can’t be led by emotion.”
Zoo’s scientific director, Bengt Holst quoted in: Time World article Did Marius the Giraffe Have to Die?

Agroscope is the Swiss Federal government agriculture, food and environmental research organization.

Please consider writing a polite letter to Agroscope and express your outrage.

This is their on-line contact form


Agroscope are not alone in this barbaric treatment of cows

In farms all over the United States, researchers have cut holes in the sides of cows.

At the University of Arkansas scientists are also cutting holes in the flanks of cows

“Hole-y” cow: weird window into research


A video showing the procedure of cannulating a cow.

Cannulation Procedure on a Cow

The animal is obviously distressed at the very least. I couldn’t watch all of this video – so shocking, words fail me.

Whether there are countries other than Switzerland and the USA that the practice of  cannulation is allowed I have yet to find out. I know the USA has no animals welfare laws that include farm animals, whether this also applies to Switzerland I am as yet uncertain,  I know Switzerland is not a part of the EU so EU animal welfare regulations would not apply.

Why is no one protesting about this?

All I can find on-line is one care 2 petition which is now closed.


10 thoughts on “Shocking Animal Abuse – Agroscope, Fit Cows With Portholes to Test Digestion

  1. Thanks for commenting. As you say always it is exploitation of those with less power.and it says a lot about the kind of people who practice such things on a defenceless animal. I came across the Agroscope video quite by change, I have never before seen anything like it or could imagine that such a thing would be done to another living being and so few would protest.

  2. I vaguely remember seeing a film in school (back in the way way old days when projectors and filmstrips were the height of visual aids) of this abominable “experiment”. You’ll likely be appalled even more to learn that this sort of casual wounding of others has been going on in some form or fashion since 1833 (according to this source: Joseph Mengele wasn’t an aberration…sadly. If it can be done…it will be done…or so it seems.

    As an oldster I apologize and lament that my generation failed to rectify these horrors.

    • Thank you for all the extra information and the link, I am surprised that this awful mutilation has been going on for so long. I thought that it was some recent abuse. I cannot understand why this is not more widely protested by animal rights/welfare groups such as PETA. Sadly our generation has only increased such horrors as it seems to me that every day there are more and more abuses to animals to add to the list of atrocities.

  3. All in the name of Profit so we can earn more to consume more as fast as we can to hell with our Planet and our kids a higher ethos would be to leave our Planet a better place for future generations

    • Thanks for your comment with which I wholeheartedly agree. Future generations will hopefully look back in horror at the way we have exploited the earth and the other creatures with whom we share this world. That is of course if there are any future generations and we do not turn this planet into a place that cannot sustain life. Hopefully something can be done to stop the onslaught of greed and exploitation that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

  4. Pingback: Shocking Animal Abuse – Agroscope, Fit Cows With Portholes to Test Digestion – Making Waves Outreach ⚘ Flyers For Animal Rights

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