Military Tests on Living Animals Prohibited


The U.S. Army in Germany intended to injure pigs and goats at the military training area Grafenwoehr in Bavaria to train their medical staff. The German association Doctors Against Animal Experiments and other animal rights groups protested against these plans. The competent authority has now rejected the application of the U.S. Army because it violates the German Animal Welfare Act.

When the plans of the U.S. Army became known in May this year several animal rights and antivivisection organizations called for protests. The competent authority, the local Government of Oberpfalz, and the Headquarters of the U.S. Army in Germany were flooded with letters and emails from the public. The public outcry resulted in the Army withdrawing its first application only one day after the plans became public. The experiments were supposed to be conducted and organized by a German company specialized in trauma training. On 12th July the Army submitted a new application in cooperation with a different company. The competent authority now denied the permit because the planned experiments would have violated the German Animal Welfare Act as no outstanding new findings were to be expected.

As part of a trauma and casualty management training program the U.S. Army wanted to stab and cut anesthetized pigs and goats with a scalpel to mimic battlefield wounds. The Doctors Against Animal Experiments (DAAE) had pointed out that military trauma training is not compatible with the German law according to which animal experiments for the development or testing of arms, ammunition or military equipment are forbidden. In addition animal use in education and training is prohibited, if its purpose can be achieved by non-animal means. Trauma management can be taught with advanced simulation tools and in war areas where real casualties have to be helped. According to the Doctor’s Association this is the only useful and effective teaching method.

The Doctors Against Animal Experiments are very pleased with the decision of the competent authority. The Government of Oberpfalz has applied the German law in a perfect way. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The DAAE calls upon other authorities to review applications for animal experiments more carefully and not to give permits for totally frivolous and unlawful experiments as this is still often done. The U.S. Army can now file an objection against the denial of the authority or submit an amended application.

Doctors Against Animal Experiments
Landsbergerstr. 103
80339 Munich
+49 89 3599349


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© Keith Mann