Israel has long been recognized worldwide for its top-notch medical research and its numerous contributions to the fields of health, biotech, biomedical science, and bioengineering. It is less known for its pig breeding, let alone medical testing on swine.
But Lahav C.R.O., a medical research institute housed within Kibbutz Lahav in southern Israel, and formerly known as the Lahav Animal Research Institute, has been doing just that for over five decades.
he kibbutz, just north of Beersheba, was established in 1952 to settle the Negev desert and work the land, with members farming crops and livestock as their livelihood. But as the kibbutz movement began shifting away from socialist communal settlements to more profitable enterprises, Lahav set up the animal institute in 1963, a year after Israel passed a new law that allowed hog farming for scientific and medical research. Pigs are forbidden for consumption according to Jewish dietary laws, and Israel, being the Jewish state, had up until 1962 only allowed farmers in northern Israel, where there is a sizeable non-Jewish community, to breed the animals.
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