Ninety-One Per Cent Fewer Animals Mutilated for Danish Military Trauma Drills: PETA Urges Complete Stop

Ninety-One Per Cent Fewer Animals Mutilated for Danish Military Trauma Drills: PETA Urges Complete Stop

Group Escalates Campaign Calling On Denmark to Stop Apparent Violation of EU Law and Use Realistic Human Simulators Instead of Animals

London – PETA and its US affiliate have filed a complaint with Danish Minister of Defence Trine Bramsen and launched an online action alert urging her to end Denmark’s deadly use of animals in military live tissue training (LTT). PETA first released graphic photos of the drills in 2014 showing live pigs hung from a wooden frame and shot to inflict traumatic injuries. The group’s campaign escalation comes on the heels of new evidence that animal use for Danish LTT declined by more than 91% between 2016 and 2020.

Official documents show that during LTT in Denmark, live pigs are subjected to “war- and terror-related injuries”, including gunshot wounds, blast wounds, amputation, punctured lungs, airway injuries, eye damage, and more.

In response to a freedom of information request, the Danish Defence Command told PETA in July 2020 that the Danish armed forces used 110 animals for LTT in 2016 compared to nine in 2020. PETA Germany first contacted the ministry about ending the live-animal drills in 2011. Studies confirm the superiority of human-relevant models, which nearly three-quarters of NATO allies use instead of animals.

Disturbingly, the Danish Defence Command also told PETA that “a detailed list of equipment reviewed is not available” when asked to name which specific simulation models have been evaluated to determine if it’s possible to eliminate animal use in this training fully.

“Using gentle pigs as disposable tools and inflicting massive injuries that poorly mimic human war wounds is indefensible and provides inferior training,” says PETA Science Policy Manager Dr Julia Baines. “PETA is calling on the Danish Ministry of Defence to cease this practice – which the US Coast Guard has called ‘abhorrent’ and itself ended – and switch to superior human simulation technology.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on” – notes that sensitive, intelligent pigs have vastly different anatomy from humans, making this training irrelevant. Cutting-edge, high-tech human simulators that “breathe” and “bleed” are more effective, ethical, and economical.

PETA points out that EU law requires that methods not involving animals be used whenever possible and that Denmark’s apparent ignorance of all available non-animal methods is not a legally permitted excuse for continuing to use animals.

The groups’ letter to Bramsen is available here. PETA opposes speciesism, the human-supremacist belief system that other animals exist for humans to exploit at will. For more information, please visit

Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]