MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. A test dog of a team of dogs kept by the Fund for Experimental Research has endured a descent to a depth of over 1,000 meters breathing an oxygen-rich liquid instead of air, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.
"One of our dogs has endured the depth of 1,004 meters," he told Rossiya’24 TV channel. "It breathed, it returned home, it is safe and sound. This test diver runs around."
"The researchers working for the Fund for Experimental Research hold these dogs in high esteem," Rogozin said. "In essence, these are our co-workers."
He said he realized only too well that it was difficult for society to perceive experiments of this kind, but still it was important to remembers every time how many lives they might help save in the future.
"That’s important not only for submarine crews but also for the infants who are born preterm and should be placed back into an environment resembling the one in the mother’s womb," Rogozin said. "Or take the people who have sustained serious burns."
"All these experiments are justified if we manage to save dozens of thousands - or maybe hundreds of thousands of human lives," he said.
"I think we’ve done a really great thing and our researchers deserve <…> big incentives," Rogozin said, adding he would insist on continuation of these research efforts.
He recalled that experiments in the field of liquid breathing had started out with mice, rats and hamsters and dogs were engaged in them only after researchers had attained a hundred percent survivability of the animals.
Rogozin also pointed out the long history of the experiments with animals, saying they were held back during the Soviet era, although he admitted the statistics for survival of the experimental subjects was far from always perfect then.
After 1991, the experiments with animals were stopped " <…> but the tragic incident with submarine Kursk [in August 2000 - TASS] alarmed all the honest people and prompted us to seek opportunities for rescuing submarine crews in the situations where the submarine were stuck at great depths," Rogozin said.