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."
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.
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'.
There is evidence which is going to be put forward. This is the very start of a claim and allegations are going to be put forward... The Mirror Group might say they don't know but the allegations for example against Sven Goran Eriksson have been made public... There has always been a continual mantra [by the Mirror Group] by saying 'we always comply with criminal law and have always complied with the Press Complaints Commission code'. The courts will investigate the evidence.