Eating scorpions and drinking cobras blood: the use of live animals during a military survival exercise is outlawed

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No animals were killed during the Cobra Gold 2021, a massive, multinational military exercise that takes place in Thailand every year and that for a long time included controversial practices that would violate laws against cruelty to animals, informs People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who along with thousands of supporters had requested the cancellation of these exercises.

Originally designed for US and Thai troops to exchange tactics and skills, the annual Cobra Gold event includes jungle survival lessons, where soldiers eat tarantulas Y scorpions alive, they drink the cobras blood recently beheaded and they kill chickens with their bare hands, which has been documented with photos and videos.

However, this year everything has been different and no animal has suffered mistreatment by the participants of these maneuvers, according to PETA, which had previously denounced the extreme practices and presented a complain before the Office of the Naval Inspector General of the US Navy, urging an end to the use of animals during these actions. “Cobra Gold’s use of animals resembles a vulgar hazing ritual and does not teach any practical survival skills,” said the release de PETA.

Cobra Gold training was held for the first time in Thailand in 1982, with the proclaimed purpose of strengthening relations between the US and Thai armed forces. Since then, the program has expanded and now features the participation of 29 countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and other South Asian and Pacific countries.

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