Stop the German Military From Injuring Live Pigs in Trauma Training

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Update: December 14, 2020
PETA and PETA Germany have sent a letter to German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer renewing their call for the German armed forces to stop mutilating live pigs in gruesome trauma training exercises for surgeons, also known as Live Tissue Training (LTT). The groups also sent a letter to the LTT licensing authority, calling for revocation of this permit. The letters point out numerous studies that prove that human-relevant models, which are already used for training by more than 70% of all NATO countries, are superior to animal-based exercises.

“Pigs feel fear and pain, just as we do—they are not ours to abuse as live training objects. Furthermore, non-animal methods like human simulators are closer to reality, yielding better results. What is already standard in most NATO countries should also be viable in Germany,” says biologist Anne Meinert, PETA Germany’s animal-testing campaign coordinator. “Together with PETA U.S., we are calling on the German Ministry of Defence to end this practice and switch to modern simulation technology. That the armed forces still abuse animals in training is completely inacceptable.”

Please add your voice to ours by taking action below.

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.

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

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.

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 nearly three-quarters of NATO member states don't use animals in their military medical trainings. In 2010, the German military told PETA that Germany was among the nations avoiding the use of animals for training training, but the country's Ministry of Defence later wrote to PETA to "formally apologise" for this misstatement after confirming that surgeons injure live pigs during these drills and pledged to do a "thorough examination" of non-animal training methods.

In 2020, PETA and our German affiliate fired off a letter to Germany's defence 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. We also pointed to decisions by German state authorities who, after discussions with us, repeatedly blocked applications from U.S. Army Europe to conduct similar torture drills on animals in Germany on the grounds that such lethal LTT exercises would violate the German Animal Welfare Act.

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.

Please TAKE 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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