Armed Forces Tries to Silence Animal Ethics Authority Decision, But Damning Information Is Published Anyway says PETA
Following more than three years of campaigning by PETA, PETA US and local activists, the Norwegian government has, for the first time, rejected an application by the Norwegian Armed Forces to shoot, stab and break the bones of live pigs in crude medical training exercises on the grounds that non-animal training methods are available.
The Norwegian Animal Research Authority's (NARA) decision was based, in part, on information provided by PETA showing that human-patient simulators are more effective than injuring and killing animals.
Norwegian law requires that non-animal methods be used whenever they're available, and nearly 80 per cent of NATO nations do not use any animals for military training.
Regarding the application, NARA concluded, "The committee does not approve of the use of animal testing given the information provided in the application and attachments. … The committee finds that the information that is provided in regards to the need to use live animals instead of alternatives in this research is not sufficient".
"We applaud the government's reasoned decision to reject the Norwegian Armed Forces' crude plan to shoot, stab and kill animals for medical training drills when humane and superior human-patient simulators that better prepare soldiers are available", says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. "We now urge Norwegian defence officials to join nearly 80 per cent of their NATO peers in making the compassionate decision to train service members using exclusively non-animal training methods."
NARA's progressive decision comes after numerous appeals from PETA and PETA US to the Norwegian defence minister and more than 164,000 e-mails to defence officials from concerned members of the public through PETA and PETA US' online action alerts (here and here).
NARA's published decision also reveals that the Norwegian Armed Forces asked NARA not to "publicly release" this information, likely so that the military could quietly amend its application and resubmit it for approval without PETA's knowledge.
The Norwegian defence minister previously wrote to PETA US that if Norway's use of animals in trauma training is not in accordance with ethical, legal and medical standards, it "calls for a change of practice".