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e-4330 (Animals)

Initiated by Twyla Francois from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Minister of National Defence

  • Young pigs are poisoned with chemical weapons, irradiated, stabbed, dismembered, disemboweled and killed for Canadian military trauma training;
  • The Department of National Defence (DND) continues to use pigs despite acknowledging that they are poor models for human anatomy and may actually interfere with effective training;
  • The continued use of piglets for military trauma training puts Canadian soldiers’ lives at risk by using obsolete teaching methods and inapplicable animal models;
  • Twenty-three of 30 NATO member nations no longer use animals for military trauma training;
  • In the past 10 years, the DND spent over $1 million in tax-payer funds by purchasing pigs for military trauma training; and
  • Human patient simulators which accurately mimic human anatomy and physiology are more applicable and cost-effective training tools for military trauma training.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Minister of National Defence to bring an end to the use of animals in military trauma training and replace them with more advanced, human-relevant and less expensive human patient simulators.

Response by the Minister of National Defence

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Marie-France Lalonde

National Defence uses advanced simulations with life-like mannequins, known as human patient simulators for the majority of its medical training. Live tissue training on an anesthetized pig is used only in circumstances where simulations alone are not feasible, as is the case of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear training for medical providers. In these cases, simulators cannot replace the precision and experience gained with live tissue.

During live tissue training, National Defence strictly adheres to the guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) ( which establishes the ethical use and care of animals. Further, the use of animals is governed by Defence Administrative Orders and Directive (DAOD) 8014-0 Animal Use in Research and Training and DAOD 8014-1 Management of Animal Use in Research, Teaching and Testing.  This is in line with CCAC standards as well as assessments and certifications to ensure consistent application of the standards across Canada.  

National Defence actively seeks to refine, reduce and where appropriate replace the use of live animals for research by using alternative experimental techniques. For example, in 2022, National Defence invested approximately $129,000 in an advanced simulation mannequin or high-fidelity patient simulator, to evaluate its utility to augment medical training provided to CAF members.

The approach of using advanced simulation for the majority of training and live tissue training sparingly offers military medical trainees with the highest calibre medical training possible with the goal of providing premium medical care to CAF members and those they protect, at home or abroad.

Open for signature
February 28, 2023, at 1:23 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
June 28, 2023, at 1:23 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Lindsay Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe)
November 6, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01896)
Government response tabled
December 5, 2023
Photo - Lindsay Mathyssen
New Democratic Party Caucus