Animal Justice Canada urges the Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, to take immediate action to end the unnecessary use of animals in military medical training despite the existence of superior human simulators and other educational techniques.
Camille Labchuk of Animal Justice said, “despite the existence of superior simulators and education techniques, the Department of National Defence still uses cruel methods of animal testing to train medical personnel on treating major trauma injuries, as well as chemical agent exposure. In trauma drills, pigs are shot, stabbed and cut apart. Live agent training techniques deployed by the DND involve exposing pigs to sarin, mustard and other chemical agents to induce seizures, irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing, and bleeding. In addition to the cruelty inherent in such exercises, the program proves to be a considerably substandard training exercise due to the major differences between laboratory and real world conditions.”
The Canadian Council on Animal Care only authorizes animals to be used in experimentation “if the researcher’s best efforts to find an alternative have failed.” Considering the numerous superior alternatives that could be used for medical training purposes, the continued use of animals by the DND is in breach of the CCAC guidelines.
Technological advancements and modern teaching methods have eliminated the use of animals in military medical training initiatives across the world. Canada is one of six remaining NATO countries that still use animals such as pigs to train medical personnel. The U.S. military ended the use of animals in chemical casualty training in 2011 in favour of superior simulators.
Animal Justice Canada is a Canadian Registered Charity dedicated to advancing public knowledge of animal practices and preventing the abuse and killing of animals through the enforcement of existing laws.
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