Photos have been released showing the UK army tying down live pigs and shooting them, then performing medical procedures on the animals. The photos, obtained by PETA, can be seen at here. [Warning: Disturbing images]
The UK army has been criticized before for its controversial trainings on animals, and is one of only five NATO nations -- Canada, Denmark, Norway, the U.S. and the UK -- to conduct them. Over 80 percent of NATO nations do not use any animals for military medical training exercises, often relying instead on modern training technologies that don't use animals.
The latest photos starkly illustrate the practice of using animal targets in military training -- one that has been called "cruel and archaic" that are "impossible to justify medically, ethically or educationally," by Mimi Bekhechi, director of animal welfare group PETA UK.
The action isn't in line with the policies of the EU either. An official EU directive states:
Member States shall ensure that, wherever possible, a scientifically satisfactory method or testing strategy, not entailing the use of live animals, shall be used instead of a procedure.