In a major victory for animals, the U.S. military will stop using live animals for various military training purposes as of January 1st. The new policy, which was instituted as a result of many years of advocacy by PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), will eliminate some of the worst abuses, from cutting apart pigs to forcing tubes down live the throats of live cats and ferrets as a component of pediatric training. Wherever possible, lifelike human simulators will be used.
Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane Unchained interviews Justin Goodman, PETA’s Director of Laboratory Investigations, to learn more about the victory.
According to Mr. Goodman, “institutional inertia” and resistance to change in the military make this astonishing victory truly historic. But much change is still needed, as the government continues to use live animals to replicate battlefield trauma. While this has been reduced in recent years, PCRM estimated several years ago that the military shoots, blows up and dismembers at least 8,500 live goats, pigs and other animals each year in these training exercises.
On the bright side, the U.S. Secretary of Defense wrote in a letter to PETA that the Pentagon will work to identify ways to phase out this testing too. If the will is there, then that shouldn’t be too big a challenge, as studies show that those who learn trauma treatment on human simulators are better equipped to treat injured patients than those who are trained on live animals.
The use of any animals in military training begs the question as to why they have to pay the price for human warfare. If countries choose to attack each other, an activity unique to humans, then what right do we have to bring animals into it?
Please use PETA’s email action alert to ask U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security officials to replace animals in military trauma training with superior non-animal training methods.