The following scenario is so cruel that it is probably beyond your imagination: Against your will, you are fixed on an operating table, as if for an operation. But in truth, they have to serve as an exercise object. Surgeons stab them to cause severe, bleeding wounds and poke their stomachs.
Then they kill them. – A horror movie? Unfortunately not.
This unimaginable fate is still a cruel reality for pigs in the german military today.
In so-called live tissue training, also known as trauma training, the german military uses live pigs to replace people with war injuries. Even though there are already animal-free methods such as simulation models that depict human anatomy in a lifelike manner.
Mutilating pigs is of no use.
Each year, the German military mutilates live pigs in gruesome and deadly trauma training exercises for surgeons, even though studies confirm the superiority of human-patient simulators and regulators have blocked attempts by the U.S. Army and contractors to conduct this self-described live tissue training (LTT) in Germany.
During LTT, the German armed forces use pigs as stand-ins for troops wounded in combat, and military medical personnel practice surgeries on the live, bleeding animals. Not only is this inhumane, but these animals also have drastically different anatomy and physiology from that of humans, which makes maiming pigs irrelevant to human battlefield medicine.
Globally, LTT is the exception, not the rule.
In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard, following a PETA eyewitness investigation and extensive discussions with us, ended what the agency’s leader at the time called “abhorrent” trauma training on animals in favor of advanced human-simulation technology.
A landmark study published by PETA and military medical experts in the journal Military Medicine also found that nearly three-quarters of NATO member states don’t use animals in their military medical pieces of training.
As part of a campaign against the abuse of animals in trauma training courses in NATO countries, PETA USA approached the German Armed Forces in 2010.
At that time, our partner organization was informed that the military worked with modern models, not with animals.
But a 2016 publication showed that animals are still being abused.
In 2020, PETA and our German affiliate fired off a letter to Germany’s defense minister calling for an end to all trauma training drills on animals, citing the widespread availability of anatomically accurate human-patient simulators and other realistic non-animal methods that can mimic severe bleeding, breathing difficulty, responses to medication, and even death in humans.
Things have long been different: after campaigns by PETA and its international partner organizations, the Polish military has already confirmed that it will no longer use animals for trauma training.
Poland has thus joined the almost three-quarters of the NATO countries that do not torture or kill animals in military exercises.
So all these countries see themselves in a position to work with modern simulators instead of suffering animals – then the German army can do that too.
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