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Military experiments on living animals prohibited

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Press release of 2nd October 2012

The competent authority had rejected the application of the U.S. Army which then went to court. The German association Doctors Against Animal Experiments and other animal rights groups had protested against the planned experiments and is delighted about the decision of the court.

As part of a trauma and casualty management training program the U.S. Army wanted to stab and cut anesthetized pigs to mimic battlefield wounds. When this became known Doctors Against Animal Experiments and other groups called for protests. The competent authority, the local Government of Oberpfalz, and the Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Germany were flooded with letters and emails from the public. The authority denied the permit because the planned experiments would have violated the German Animal Protection Act. The Army then commissioned a German company specialized in trauma training and applied at the local authority in the federal state of Thuringia. Also this authority rejected the permit. The U.S. Army then filed an objection against this.

At the court hearing three specialists were heard who all agreed that there is need to use living animals to train military personal as cutting-edge dummies are available. The court ruled that the rejection of the applications by the competent authorities was correct.

According to the German Animal Protection Act animal experiments for the development or testing of arms, ammunition or military equipment are forbidden. In addition animal use in education and training is prohibited, if its purpose can be achieved by non-animal means. Trauma management can be taught with advanced simulation tools including dummies.