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.