The British Army is blowing up live pigs for research despite the fact that most of Nato allies have banned similar cruelty. Following Freedom of Information requests, it emerged that within the past three years, 115 animals were killed at the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) secret Porton Down base in Wiltshire in order to test whether they could be saved after blast wounds.
Because pigs are genetically similar to humans, they were killed to see whether they could be saved despite suffering “severe battlefield trauma” and to test blood-clotting products. Some of the pigs were even put in body armour before being mutilated with explosives. MoD said that the pigs were anesthetized when they were subjected to explosives and then “humanely culled.”
The shocking revelations are just weeks after the PETA released photos of “cruel military training drills held in Denmark, callously known as “Danish bacon,” to which the Ministry of Defense sends surgeons each year.” British military surgeons operate on live pigs strung up and shot with AK47 rifles. NATO pledged to stop the practice which, is illegal in the United Kingdom (UK).
“The UK military’s involvement in the cruel and archaic exercises is impossible to justify medically, ethically or educationally. It’s time for the military to end its participation in these inhumane and ill-conceived exercises for the sake of both our fighting forces and animals,” said Mimi Bekhechi, Director of the United Kingdom branch of PETA. “The MoD is out of step with the latest developments in education, which show unequivocally that to shoot, stab or blow up live pigs in order to train our military medics makes as much sense as conducting modern warfare with muskets. Vastly superior non-animal trauma training methods, including life-like human-patient simulators are available and used by the militaries of 23 of the UK’s 27 NATO allies,” she added.
The MoD uses a legal loophole to carry out the explosive tests on UK soil but insists they are vital in developing state-of-the-art medical treatments for UK troops. “The research we undertake saves lives by helping us develop world class protective equipment and new medical treatments that benefit both troops and civilians,” an MoD spokesman said. “Advances in technology mean we’re reducing the number of procedures carried out on pigs but there is some research, such as countering the threat posed by chemical and biological weapons, that can’t be conducted without use of animals,” he added.
PETA refutes the MoD’s claim that these tests are the best way to develop battlefield treatments. “If more than 80 per cent of our NATO allies including 20 EU member states have modernized their armed forces and no longer train military medical personnel using animals, then the British armed forces can switch too,” said Bekhechi. “It’s time for the military to end its participation in these inhumane and ill-conceived exercises for the sake of both our fighting forces and animals.”
“Pigs are sensitive, sentient beings, who are more intelligent than dogs – not pieces of military equipment. They don’t wage wars and shouldn’t become victims of human war games. The scale of the army’s animal victims is shocking. Altogether, the MoD massacred 28,000 animals in the last three years. This killing has got to stop,” protests PETA.
Photo Credit: PETA