Urge the German Military to Stop Killing Pigs in Trauma Training!

UN LAB Middleware Label: Title Ends

Each year, the German military mutilates live pigs in gruesome and deadly trauma drills known as “live tissue training” (LTT) for surgeons, even though studies confirm the superiority of human-patient simulators.

In 2020, PETA U.S. and PETA Germany called on Germany’s defense minister to end this archaic and cruel practice, 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.

Furthermore, after we sent a letter urging the German regulatory authority in Potsdam to reject and prohibit all current and future permit approvals for the military’s LTT, the Brandenburg State Office for Occupational Safety, Consumer Protection and Health responded that it would perform a new evaluation questioning the necessity of using animals in trauma drills and assess the value of non-animal simulation models. The ethical justifiability of the exercises on animals should also be questioned, according to the authority.

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, these animals also have drastically different anatomy and physiology from that of humans, which makes maiming pigs irrelevant to human battlefield medicine.

photo of animal used for live tissue training next to photo of german military uniform

A 2020 study published in the journal Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open found that non-animal simulation training “improves surgical procedures and processes.” In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Surgical Education that examined numerous trauma training courses, such as those practiced in Germany that used live tissue (referring to the mutilation of live pigs), the researchers concluded that “no published evidence ... exists suggesting that surgical skills training courses change trauma patient outcome, or improve performance of the skills taught, when performed in the real-world operating room.” This underscores how worthless animal labs are.

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.

© Gaumard

A landmark study published by PETA and military medical experts in the journal Military Medicine also found that more than 70% of NATO member states don’t use animals in their military medical trainings.

So now is the time to keep the pressure on!

Please add your voice to ours by taking action below to help end these barbaric trauma training drills on animals by sending a letter to the German minister of defense and urging that country’s military to switch to more modern and effective non-animal methods.

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The Honorable Annegret

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