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Germany halts plan to shoot live pigs for paramedic training

By JEAN-BAPTISTE PIGGIN AND CHRISTIAN SCHNEIDER | Deutsche Presse-Agentur | Published: October 2, 2012

BERLIN -- A German court warned a private company Tuesday to stop a plan to inflict war wounds on pigs so that army paramedics could practice life-saving first aid on the animals.

The company was offering to supply anaesthetized pigs which had been shot or stabbed or had limbs ripped off. Since pigs are similar in physiology to humans, the animals would resemble wounded soldiers to let military medics hone skills.

The supplier was protesting a decision by the central German state of Thuringia to deny it an operating licence on cruelty grounds.

Judges in the city of Gera said they agreed with doctors who testified there were other ways to improve competence. The company then withdrew its case and no verdict was issued.

Army paramedics were expected to learn battlefield procedures such as giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and staunching blood flow. The injured pigs were to have been killed before they woke up.

Animal rights are enshrined in Germany's constitution, meaning animals can be killed for food but must not be treated cruelly.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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