PigsShotforMilitaryTrainingPETA_large
by Joan Reddy
Categories: Animals, Causes.

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).

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“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.

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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

About Joan Reddy

Joan Reddy is a professional photographer, writer, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. Joan holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University, in Toronto, where her thesis focused on Animal Rights. Through her writing, Joan wants to help to educate the public about the way animals are abused and exploited, in cultures around the world. Joan is also founder and president of the Federal registered non-profit organization "International Communication for Animal Justice." Her organization's website can be found at www.internationalcommunicationforanimaljustice.org, and her professional profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-reddy/22/999/449.

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  • Siraganda

    This cowardly crime has to stop at once! I ask myself what kind of rascals are indulging in such horror! Shame on such human scum which is murdering innocent animals in such barbaric way! May such honorless bastards burn in hell!

    • Norman Lee Lewis

      if your loved one had been injured and only the experience of caregivers with animals would save their lives, you would welcome the chance. Don’t whine about animal lives when human life is at stake. Where are your real priorities? It would be cruel to advocate for animals to pass away but, the simple fact is that the death of a few animals will more than compensate for human life.

      • Siraganda

        Stop this cheap speciesism – there is no excuse for abusing animals in dirty war games invented by the human beast! My priority is clear – i chose the help- and defenseless animal! Playing war on animals is the most cowardly crime invented by the human beast fullstop

      • Maribeth Hendrickson

        You’re not addressing the fact that alternative means for gathering this research information without cruelty already exist and are used by 24 other countries with better results. If your heart isn’t moved by humane considerations, your head should be moved by facts.