More than a hundred pigs are to be buried in Australia's largest cemetery as part of a controversial, world-first scientific trial that aims to create more grave space.

Fairfax Media can reveal that, in a contentious move at odds with numerous traditional religious customs, Rookwood Cemetery intends to accelerate the human decomposition process so more people can be laid to rest in the same plot.

Up to 120 pig corpses will be used as human substitutes and have individual plots at the same sacred site where more than a million people are buried. There the pig corpses will be exposed to compounds, additives and "a lot of different variables" that are designed to "speed up" the natural process below ground.

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