The Ministry of Defence has defended its involvement in a military training exercise that involves the shooting of live animals. Images published in the Daily Mirror appear to show live pigs strung up as targets during a medical training course at Nato's training facilities in Jaegerspris, Denmark.
The pigs are shot by a marksman to replicate battlefield wounds so that military medical staff can train in emergency surgery. The MoD said it had not yet seen the pictures, but a spokeswoman said it was normal for military surgeons to carry out training on animals:
"Our military surgeons undertake vital training in Denmark where they learn specialist trauma treatment skills that save lives on the battlefield.
"All animals used in medical training are anaesthetised before they are treated and by participating in the Danish led exercises twice a year rather than conducting our own, we minimise the overall number of animals used."
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said the exercise was "impossible to justify medically, ethically and educationally."
Former Blackburn Rovers footballer, Garry Flitcroft, is one of four people who are taking legal action against Mirror Group Newspapers for alleged phone hacking.
In November, Flitcroft told the Leveson Inquiry that he had previously been hounded by tabloid media in 2001 over an extra-marital affair.
As news emerged that four people have issued hacking claims against Mirror Group Newspapers, its owner Trinity Mirror's shares fell 12% today, reversing some of the recent strong gains for the stock.
Shares in the group were down 12 percent at 63 pence at 0725 GMT, according to Reuters.
Johnathan Barrett, an analyst at N+1 Singer, said:
Former England football manager Sven-Göran Eriksson – has filed a claim alleging phone hacking at the Daily Mirror during Piers Morgan's editorship.
Mr Morgan, now a CNN talk-show host in the United States, has repeatedly denied any involvement in phone hacking.
Mr Morgan’s spokesman referred the Financial Times to the newspaper's publisher Trinity Mirror for comment.
Four people have issued High Court claims against the Daily and Sunday Mirror and The People.
The claims allege "breach of confidence and misuse of private information" relating to the "interception and/or misuse of mobile phone voicemail messages and/or the interception of telephone account".
The Financial Times reports that no particulars of the claims have been filed as yet.
The four claimants, represented by media lawyer Mark Lewis, who also represented other celebrities and claimants in action taken against News International, have four months to serve claims on Trinity Mirror, the newspaper said.
Four people - including former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson - are taking action against the publishers of the Daily Mirror over alleged phone hacking.
Trinity Mirror, which owns Mirror Group Newspaper, told the Financial Times (£):
Mark Lewis, who is representing the four alleged victims of hacking by the Daily Mirror, has told Daybreak that he doesn't understand how the hacking allegations have taken the Mirror Group 'by surprise'.
Mark Lewis who represents the alleged victims of phone hacking told Daybreak the hacking allegations appeared to take the Mirror Group 'by surprise'.