Pressure is mounting on the Ministry of Defence to stop using live animals in horrific trauma training exercises for medics. The UK’s top army doctor, Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, the Medical Director at Joint Medical Command, has admitted that he receives letters from the House of Commons every fortnight asking why the UK hasn’t switched to humane, modern methods instead of needlessly mutilating animals.
Ever since we revealed how British personnel travel to Denmark and shoot live pigs to pieces in shady training operations, tens of thousands of compassionate people have been asking the same question.
Using live animals in these sick war games is deeply unethical and also not the best way to prepare recruits for the frontline. For that reason, 23 out of 28 NATO nations choose to use modern, humane non-animal methods to train army doctors.
We’ve just written to the new Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, to make sure that he’s aware of the most up-to-date research on this issue:
- A study funded by the US Department of Defense (DOD) at the University of Minnesota found that medics who were taught haemorrhage control and other emergency medical procedures on human simulators were as proficient as those taught using animals and that both methods produced similar degrees of stress in trainees.
- A DOD-funded study conducted by the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan concluded that medical staff who had been taught paediatric intubation skills on simulators were more proficient than those who trained on live cats.
- A Canadian Forces Health Services study found that a life-like human-patient simulator was as effective as the use of live animals in teaching traumatic-injury management to military medical technicians.
These are only the most recent examples – for many years, study after study has indicated that medical personnel can effectively learn to save lives on the battlefield without shooting, cutting up and killing animals.
Please join us in sending a message to the Secretary of State for Defence asking him to put a stop to these cruel, archaic drills:
Photos: Jørn Stjerneklar