For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2023
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Shalin Gala regarding a letter that PETA sent today to newly appointed Minister of National Defence Bill Blair, urging him to end the Canadian Department of National Defence’s use of animals in its live agent training for chemical casualty care and live tissue training for traumatic injury management, and our request that he order a full transition to human-relevant, animal-free training methods:
Decades of exposing live pigs to toxic chemical warfare agents and subjecting them to gunshot wounds, blast injuries, and other forms of trauma during archaic military drills must end. The body count is substantial: Over 1,800 intelligent pigs have been killed in trauma and chemical warfare training by Canada’s armed forces, costing an outrageous $1 million since 2012. Maiming animals fails to adequately prepare military personnel for real-life medical emergencies facing humans, and hyper-realistic human-patient simulators have proved to be more effective.
Numerous precedents exist for banning this cruel use of animals immediately. More than 70% of NATO allied nations use no animals for military medical education. The U.S. Coast Guard banned “abhorrent” trauma training drills on animals after discussions with PETA, and the U.S. Army ended its use of monkeys in chemical casualty drills after facing a PETA campaign.
Minister Blair has a chance to start his new tenure on the right foot, and we urge him to move the Department of National Defence into the 21st century by replacing crude military drills on animals with advanced, human-relevant technology that will help protect the lives of humans and other animals.