PETA Demands End to German Military’s Pig Mutilations

Live Trauma Training Appears to Violate German and EU Law: Military Must Switch to Realistic Human Simulators, Says Group

For Immediate Release:
December 14, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Berlin – This morning, PETA and PETA Germany sent a joint letter to German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, calling for the German armed forces to stop mutilating and killing pigs in outdated training exercises immediately. The groups have also sent a letter to the licensing authority calling for the revocation of the military’s permit.

The groups note that using live pigs to imitate treating human war injuries appears to violate the German Animal Welfare Act and Directive 2010/63/EU, which only permit animal tests if no other means are available. In 2017, the German Federal Ministry of Defence promised to stop using animals for training “as soon as suitable simulation models are available,” and in 2019, the ministry assured PETA that it would pursue a “thorough examination” of non-animal models. But even though studies show that human-relevant models—which are already used for training by more than 70% of all NATO countries—are superior to animal-based exercises, the German military has yet to prohibit the use of animals.

“Using gentle pigs as disposable tools and inflicting massive injuries to mimic human war wounds is an indefensible and inferior training method,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on the German Federal Ministry of Defence to join the majority of NATO countries in ending this practice and switching to superior human-simulation technology.”

The anatomy of pigs differs from that of humans, which makes these exercises unrealistic. State-of-the-art, high-tech simulations of human bodies that can “breathe” and “bleed” as well as virtual reality technology are more effective, ethical, and economical.

In 2010, PETA and PETA Germany persuaded German regulators to deny the U.S. Army Europe’s applications to conduct similar training with U.S. troops in Europe on the grounds that it would violate the German Animal Welfare Act.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind