Where I work we have cows. They have holes in their sides. These holes are filled with hollow rubber bungs through which it is possible to feel the cows innards.
The purpose of this is research ont he cows, that research requires regular tactile inspection of the cows ovaries and the bungs thing was decided on as more humane than regular open surgery. Obviously this has been through alot of ethics commitees.
Many non-reasearcher people I have met who have seen or heard of the cows are horrified at the idea however so I thought I'd ask what you think of it, as you are a pretty diverse bunch. As far as modern science can tell the bungs don't hurt the cows or have any effect on their behaviour at all, so, discuss.