Britain defends shooting pigs for army medic training
LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Ministry of Defence on Sunday defended its practice of shooting pigs and giving the wounded animals to military surgeons to practice treating common battlefield injuries.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesperson Klare Kennett said the training exercises, which take place twice a year in Denmark, were "abhorrent and shocking".
"Pigs are intelligent animals and most people would be appalled by this, especially as there is an alternative available which does not involve harming any animals," she said. The ministry said the training gave surgeons "invaluable experience" and "helped save lives on operations".
The animals are heavily anaesthetised before being shot at close range "to damage organs but not kill the animals", and are then operated on before being killed humanely, the ministry said.