BRITAIN'S Ministry of Defence has defended its practice of shooting pigs to give military surgeons practice treating battlefield injuries.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals spokesperson Klare Kennett said the training exercises, which take place twice a year in Denmark, were abhorrent and shocking.
Ms Kennett said pigs were intelligent animals and most people would be appalled by the practice, especially as there was an alternative available which does not involve harming any animals.
The ministry says the animals are heavily anaesthetised before being shot at close range to damage organs, but not kill the animals, which are then operated on before being killed humanely.
The courses, which were suspended in 1998, were reinstated after a government-commissioned study found that no equally effective alternative existed.