United States and Some NATO Nations Use Animals for Military Training, Says Study

by Kathy Jones on Aug 10 2012 1:23 PM

 United States and Some NATO Nations Use Animals for Military Training, Says Study
Around 22 of 28 NATO nations do not use animal laboratories for military medical training, a new study published in the August 2012 issue of Military Medicine, the journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S reveals.
Researchers from PETA, in collaboration with current and former military medical personnel, surveyed officials in all 28 NATO nations during 2010 and 2011. Twenty-two NATO countries—including Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey—confirmed that they do not use animals in military medical training. Officials reported that they use exclusively non-animal methods—such as lifelike human simulators in realistic battlefield scenarios—for various reasons, including legal prohibitions against animal use and the superiority of simulation technology.

Six NATO countries—Canada, Denmark, Norway, Poland, the U.K., and the U.S.—reported using animals in invasive and often deadly procedures.

"The overwhelming majority of NATO allies have moved beyond stabbing and dismembering animals in crude and cruel training exercises," says coauthor of the study and PETA Associate Director Justin Goodman. "Our military's regulations require using non-animal methods whenever they are available—and PETA's report illustrates that modern trauma-training technology is widely available around the world."

Each year, the U.S. military and its contractors shoot, stab, mutilate, and kill more than 10,000 live animals in cruel trauma-training exercises, even though modern simulators that breathe and bleed have been shown to better prepare doctors and medics to treat injured better than animal laboratories.