The US Army is to shoot live pigs as part of a medical exercise for soldiers headed to Iraq, despite calls by animal rights activists to halt the exercise.

Despite opposition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the army is moving forward with its plan to shoot live pigs and treat their gunshot wounds in a medical trauma exercise, writes the Associated Press.

The training is designed to teach army personnel how to manage critically injured patients.

According to a spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division, the training is being conducted under a US Department of Agriculture license and the “careful supervision of veterinarians and a military Animal Care and Use Committee”.

But PETA believes there are more advanced and humane options available, including high-tech human simulators and has urged the army to end all use of animals as most North American medical schools have done.

By staff writer