In March of 2007, apparently following the French Navy's lead, the UK Ministry of Defense halted its use of goats in decompression experiments after a review committee of six experts examined alternative methods, such as computer-modelling techniques to simulate the effects of the "bends" and said that there is no further need for the use of animals in this area of research.
That expert opinion was either unknown to the UW-Madison, or was dismissed out of hand. In spite of the apparent lack of likely beneficial knowledge emerging from repeatedly decompressing animals and recording the well-known and understood excruciatingly painful deleterious and often terminal effects, the UW-Madison continued doing so. Moreover, they were violating the state laws against doing so. But, like the expert opinion that they either ignored or didn't know about, they also either didn't know or didn't care about the Wisconsin statutes regarding cruelty to animals. The giddy heights of the ivory towers make it hard to see what's happening down on the ground.
After being caught breaking the law and after wide-spread fretting by UW vivisectors about the possibility of criminal charges being brought against them, once the Republicans took control of the state legislature, the university told them to slip a broad exemption into the budget bill allowing them to ignore those pesky laws against killing animals by means of decompression, staging fights between animals, having to provide them with adequate food, water, and shelter, or doing anything to the animals they might like to do. After all, they're experts.
Now that they've been exempted from any legal concerns about cruelty, they've decided to resume killing sheep by means of decompression. Why would they choose to do this? Concern for submariners or recreational divers? Not so much. The only reason they hurt and kill animals is money; that can't come as a shock to anyone.
Here's a bit of news about their plans (take the UW's claims with a bit of salt): Campus Connection: UW eyes resuming decompression sickness studies with sheep. Todd Finkelmeyer. Cap Times. 8-2-2012.
UW Violating State Law and PHS Regs? August 8, 2009.
The decompression of the sheep. August 27, 2009.
Standing Above the Law. October 4, 2009.
The Sheep. Spin, spin, spin. October 11, 2009.
UW-Madison vs the Sheep.. June 5, 2010.
Sheep decompression or else! June 6, 2010.
UW Seeks Exemption from All Anti-Cruelty Laws. June 5, 2011.