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Thousands of military personnel from around the world are scheduled to travel to Thailand in August for the Cobra Gold joint military exercises.
Last year, participants were recorded killing chickens with their bare hands, skinning and eating live geckos, consuming live scorpions and tarantulas, decapitating cobras and drinking their blood, and otherwise revelling in the ritualistic killing and consumption of animals.
PETA has sent an urgent letter to Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace urging him to demand that the organisers of the exercises permanently replace the use of live animals in food procurement survival exercises with more effective and ethical animal-free training methods.
Shipping military personnel to Thailand to drink the blood of beheaded snakes is the kind of absurdity that could spark the next pandemic.
The use of live animals during Cobra Gold poses a risk of spreading zoonotic diseases akin to COVID-19, endangering troops and the wider public. Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in bats and were first transmitted to humans via contact with an intermediate animal host.
While the training exercise is marketed as a food procurement drill, officials have admitted it is intended to build camaraderie among troops in a manner resembling a barbaric hazing ritual. This goal could easily and safely be achieved through other means that don’t involve causing animals to suffer and die.
Please join PETA in asking the Ministry of Defence to urge Cobra Gold organisers to permanently replace the use of live animals in food procurement survival exercises with more effective and ethical animal-free training methods.