Most countries now use lifelike simulators, but U.S. lags on humane treatment of animals
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. is one of the last few countries in NATO to still use live laboratory animals for military medical training. Altogether, 22 countries in the alliance said they don’t use animals, while six — the U.S. Canada, Denmark, the U.K., Poland and Norway. — still do.
Each year, the U.S. military and its contractors shoot, stab, mutilate, and kill more than 10,000 live animals in cruel trauma-training exercises, even though modern simulators that breathe and bleed have been shown to better prepare doctors and medics to treat injured better than animal laboratories.
Information on animal testing was published in the August 2012 issue of Military Medicine, the journal of the Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S., and used by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals to advocate for humane replacement of animal testing with lifelike human simulators. View the study online.
The countries that don’t use animals say today’s simulation technology is superior to animal testing, and that at least some them of have prohibitions against animal use.
The NATO countries that don’t use animals are: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey.
“The overwhelming majority of NATO allies have moved beyond stabbing and dismembering animals in crude and cruel training exercises,” said Justin Goodman, associate director of PETA and coauthor of the study.
“Our military’s regulations require using non-animal methods whenever they are available—and PETA’s report illustrates that modern trauma-training technology is widely available around the world.”