by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Nov 18, 2012
Britain's Ministry of Defence on Sunday defended its practice of shooting pigs and giving the wounded animals to military surgeons to practice treating common battlefield injuries.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesperson Klare Kennett said the training exercises, which take place twice a year in Denmark, were "abhorrent and shocking".
"Pigs are intelligent animals and most people would be appalled by this, especially as there is an alternative available which does not involve harming any animals," she said.
The ministry said the training gave surgeons "invaluable experience" and "helped save lives on operations".
The animals are heavily anaesthetised before being shot at close range "to damage organs but not kill the animals", and are then operated on before being killed humanely, the ministry said.
"This training provides invaluable experience, exposing our surgical teams to the specific challenges posed by the injuries of modern armed conflict," a spokesperson said.
"This training has helped save lives on operations and by participating in the Danish exercises we minimise the overall number of animals used."
Animal rights campaigners argue that life-like human simulator devices are more effective for medical training than live animals.
But the courses, which were suspended in 1998, were reinstated after a government-commissioned study found that "no equally effective alternative" existed.
The latest in Military Technology for the 21st century at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|