Media Centre

PETA Campaign Prompts Polish Military To End Deadly Animal Labs

For Immediate Release:

20 November 2013

Contact:

Ben Williamson +44 (0) 207 837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk

Warsaw – Live animals will no longer be cut open, mutilated or killed by the Polish military.

After two years of discussions with PETA and its international affiliates, the Polish Armed Forces confirmed that the country has replaced its use of animals in military training exercises with modern human-like medical simulators.

Poland's decision means that more than 80 per cent of NATO nations are now training service members without harming any animals, leaving only a handful of countries, including the UK and the US, still using animals.

Protest letters from supporters of PETA UK and its international affiliates as well as PETA US' information about the benefits of simulators prompted the shift, a Polish official said. Almost 30,000 people wrote to Polish military leaders through the action alerts of PETA UK and its affiliates.

"Poland's compassionate decision means that animals' lives will be spared and the Polish Armed Forces will be better trained to treat human injuries on the battlefield", says PETA UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. "For the sake of humans and animals, the UK, Canada, the US, Denmark and Norway should follow Poland's lead and modernise their training programmes."

Studies have repeatedly found that modern simulators that replicate human anatomy and physiology teach life-saving skills better than animal-based exercises.

A 2012 study published by PETA US and military doctors found that Canada, Denmark, Norway, Poland, the UK and the US were the only NATO nations still using animals for military training. PETA UK filed a complaint in August with the European Commission against the militaries of Poland and other European countries for apparent violations of EU law requiring the use of non-animal training methods when possible.

In July 2013, the US Army confirmed its new policy that prohibits non-medical and certain medical personnel from using animals in trauma exercises, which are similar to the military drill that PETA US exposed last year in video footage that showed live goats having their limbs broken and cut off with tree trimmers.

For more information and to urge the UK government to replace the use of animals in military exercises with human-patient simulators, please click here or visit PETA.org.uk.

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