Research by the Animal Protection Party of Canada (APPC) has exposed how the Department of National Defence (DND) of Canada tortures and kills piglets for “live tissue training.” Between 2012 and 2016 the DND used about $700,000 in taxpayer funds to purchase approximately 700 piglets for this type of inhumane military medical training.
The report, titled Defenceless: Animal-Based Trauma Training in the Canadian Military, is based on Access to Information requests by Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC) to the DND covering 20 years. It reveals that piglets as young as 10 weeks of age have been exposed to toxic nerve agents (causing seizures, irregular heartbeats and laboured breathing), radiation (causing deep tissue burns), and severe trauma (such as cutting animals’ faces, repeated stabbings, limb amputations and disembowelment).
DND’s documents contain the admission that anatomical differences make pigs poor models for training medics to treat human injuries in the field. Twyla Francois, Animal Research Investigator with AAC, said, “the continued use of piglets for ‘live tissue training’ by the Canadian military is cruel, expensive, and puts soldiers’ lives at risk by using archaic teaching methods and inapplicable animal models – all while superior non-animal alternatives exist.”
Liz White, Party Leader of the APPC. Said, “we are urging the Minister of National Defence to replace piglets with human patient simulators. It is within her power to do so and it would bring Canada in line with its NATO allies.” Over 70% of NATO members no longer use animals for military medical training. In the US, the Department of Defense medical school, Uniformed Services University, stopped using animals for this sort of training in 2013, and now uses human patient simulators. All Advanced Trauma Life Support courses across the U.S. military also ended their use of animals since 2015, and in 2018, so did the U.S. Coast Guard.