PETA to German Defense Minister: Stop Injuring Live Animals in Trauma Drills

Group Points to New Studies Showing Superiority of Human Simulators, Officials Blocking Animal Use for U.S. Military Trauma Drills in Germany

For Immediate Release:
June 12, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


This morning, PETA and PETA Germany fired off a letter urging the German minister of defense to end that country’s armed forces’ use of animals in live tissue training (LTT)—during which live pigs are mutilated and killed—in the wake of new studies confirming the superiority of human-relevant models, which nearly three-quarters of NATO allies already use instead of animals.

The groups’ action comes after the ministry assured PETA last year that it would conduct a “thorough examination” of non-animal simulation models and pledged to PETA in 2018 that it would “abandon live tissue training entirely as soon as suitable simulation models are available.”

In 2010, PETA convinced German regulators to block applications from U.S. Army Europe to conduct LLT for American service members stationed in Germany on the grounds that such invasive and lethal exercises would violate the German Animal Welfare Act. That same year, the German armed forces erroneously told PETA that they “do no animal tests for training purposes”—a misstatement that prompted the country’s ministry of defense to “formally apologise” to the group in 2017 and confirm in 2018 the use of up to 12 pigs for training 18 surgeons per year.

“Using gentle pigs as disposable tools and inflicting massive injuries to poorly mimic human war wounds are indefensible and inferior training,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on the German ministry of defense to cease this practice—which the U.S. Coast Guard has called ‘abhorrent’ and itself ended—and to switch to modern and superior human simulation technology.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—notes that sensitive, intelligent pigs have vastly different anatomy from humans, making these trainings irrelevant. Cutting-edge, high-tech human simulators that “breathe” and “bleed” are more effective, ethical, and economical.

The groups’ letter to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s minister of defense, is available here. PETA opposes speciesism, the human-supremacist belief system that other animals exist for humans to exploit at will. For more information, please visit

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