- LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said Thursday it was withdrawing from ``Exercise
Danish Bacon'' in which pigs are shot with high-velocity weapons to train
NATO medics in messy field surgery.
- Armed Forces Minister John Reid said
Britain would suspend cooperation with the Danish-led operation pending
a review, which is expected to take three months. ``Provision of first-class
medical care for members of our armed forces that are wounded in combat
is of paramount importance,'' Reid said in a statement. ``Nevertheless,
British participation in Exercise Danish Bacon ... is of concern to me,''
he continued. ``I therefore directed that participation in Exercise Danish
Bacon should be suspended pending a review of the ministry of defense's
- The NATO exercise is carried out annually
but Reid only learned of the practice this week, a defense ministry spokesman
said. Britain will decline any invitation to take part in future exercises
until the review is completed. The pigs are deeply anesthetized before
being shot under veterinary supervision, he added. They never regain consciousness
and are put down after the surgeons have attempted to treat their wounds.
Pigs are used as their body tissues most closely resemble human flesh.