Written by Michelle Kretzer
Update: Today, The Washington Post ran a cover story highlighting PETA's efforts to stop the U.S. military from
killing thousands of goats and pigs each year in crude medical training
drills. As the newspaper points out, a bill that was signed into law last
month requires the Department of Defense to submit to Congress by the end of
this week a detailed strategy and timeline for the phase-out of these deadly
exercises. This is the first time in history that Congress has passed
a bill that protects animals from abuse in military training exercises. Please
take a moment to write to the Department of Defense and urge it to act quickly to phase out these barbaric exercises.
Originally posted on January 4th:
The year has just begun, but already 2013 has seen an exciting first for animals! President Barack Obama has just signed into law a bill that requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to create a strategy for replacing the shooting, stabbing, and dismembering of animals in military training drills with non-animal methods. This is the first time in history that Congress has passed a bill that seeks to protect animals from being abused in military training exercises.
tintedglass | cc by 2.0
Last year, people were outraged when PETA released disturbing, never-before-seen undercover footage showing live goats as they were stabbed, had their organs yanked out, and had their limbs broken and cut off with tree trimmers during a military training drill, all while the animals moaned and kicked.
Multitudes of you contacted your representatives demanding that these archaic forms of "training" end and that the abusers who were caught on video be held accountable. You won. Under a provision in the newly signed National Defense Authorization Act, the secretary of defense has less than two months to present Congress with a strategy for phasing out the use of animals in trauma training. And the people who were caught on camera abusing goats were cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
High-profile military veterans Oliver Stone, Bob Barker, and Gideon Raff have all joined you in asking the DOD to modernize its training program by replacing its deadly animal laboratories with more reliable methods such as human-patient simulators. These realistic models can breathe, bleed, talk, and even "die," and trainees can perform procedures on them over and over again until they master lifesaving skills.
While this monumental law requires the secretary of defense to create a plan to phase out the use of animals, it does not mandate a specific date by which animal training methods must end. Help us keep the pressure on by e-mailing the secretary of defense and other DOD and Department of Homeland Security officials and urging them to switch to superior non-animal training methods immediately.
Written by Jeff Mackey
have two hot developments to report in PETA's campaign to expose and end the
abuse of animals in cruel and archaic U.S. military medical training drills:
Following complaints filed by PETA about the abuse of goats seen in a shocking
undercover video, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cited military trauma
training contractor Tier 1 Group for violating the Animal Welfare Act, and the
Virginia Beach Zoning Administration (VBZA) has warned the owner of the property where the training allegedly
took place that these exercises are not permitted there.
Originally posted July 27:
In April, PETA released the video footage taken by a
whistleblower during a trauma
training session for members of the U.S. Coast Guard. The video showed course
instructors with Tier 1 Group repeatedly cutting off the limbs of live goats
with tree trimmers, stabbing the animals with scalpels, and cutting into their
abdomens to pull out their organs as they twitched,
moaned, and kicked. Veterinarians
who viewed the video confirmed that these are signs that the goats were not
adequately anesthetized and were likely feeling pain.
The video also showed a course instructor from Tier 1 Group
who cheerfully whistled as he cut the legs off goats as well as Coast Guard
participants who joked about writing a song about mutilating the animals.
At the time the video was released, PETA filed a number of
complaints with authorities, and two of these agencies have now taken
disciplinary action against parties responsible for the training. (A U.S. Coast
Guard investigation into PETA's complaint is ongoing.)
The USDA citation for violating
the federal Animal Welfare Act was issued because of Tier 1 Group's failure to give
adequate anesthesia to the goats who were stabbed and cut into. This is a
repeat violation, as Tier 1 Group was
cited by the USDA for a similar violation last year.
The USDA's citation of Tier 1 Group for failing to anesthetize
animals properly during invasive procedures is made even more alarming by the
fact that just days after the USDA citation, the U.S. Navy awarded Tier 1 Group
a contract worth nearly $2 million to conduct 24 trauma training exercises on
live pigs. A company that has violated federal animal welfare law should not be
rewarded with millions of tax dollars.
The VBZA letter not only warned that such exercises aren't
permitted but also notified the property owner that legal action may be pursued
against him if such unauthorized activities are conducted on the land in the
future. These unlawful training exercises have taken place there for years, but
officials have now made it clear that they must not occur there ever again.
Please join PETA and its dedicated supporters—including
military veterans Oliver
Stone and Bob Barker—in urging the military to replace these cruel animal laboratories with humane and
military contractor that was responsible for hacking apart inadequately anesthetized goats in a crude military
trauma training exercise exposed by PETA wants to conduct 24 more training
courses—but it won't get the chance if Congress can help it.
1 Group, LLC, was made infamous when PETA released a video exposé of a U.S. Coast Guard trauma training course in which Tier 1
Group instructors cut off goats' legs with tree trimmers, cut into the animals'
abdomens to pull out their organs, and stabbed the animals with scalpels as the
goats moaned and kicked. PETA filed a complaint, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
cited Tier 1 Group for violating the
Animal Welfare Act (AWA). It was Tier 1 Group's second AWA violation in as many
years. A U.S. Coast Guard investigation of Tier 1 Group following a PETA
complaint is still ongoing.
when this law-breaking company was awarded yet another military contract worth nearly $1.8 million of taxpayer money,
members of Congress were aghast. A group of 11 representatives contacted Gene
Dodaro, comptroller general of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and
called for an investigation into why Tier 1 Group received the new contract.
They cited regulations that clearly require federal contractors to abide by the
law, including the AWA. The representatives assert that Tier 1 Group's history
of repeatedly breaking the law may be sufficient cause to revoke the new
military contract and to prevent the company from ever receiving any more
congressional representatives' actions speak loud and clear: The government
should not pay anyone to torment
animals illegally. And it doesn't have to. Superior humanlike simulators are already in use in military training courses in the U.S. and around the
world. The simulators are so realistic that they can cry, talk, respond to
medications, bleed, breathe, and even "die," so it's easy to see how
such a training tool would better prepare soldiers for what they may encounter
on the battlefield than would crudely hacking apart an animal.
bill, the Battlefield Excellence Through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act (H.R. 1417/S. 3418), currently
pending before Congress, would responsibly phase out the U.S. military's use of
animals in trauma training entirely and require the use of modern simulation
technology. Please send a polite e-mail to your congressional representatives
and ask them to cosponsor this lifesaving legislation today.
Written by Alisa Mullins
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potential? Find out here.
Not all bullies are in the
schoolyard—some are in the kitchen.
PETA Certificate of Appreciation
recipient Abby Casarella talks about organizing her first protest
and other easier-than-she-expected activism accomplishments.
Oliver Stone's latest
war movie is just as gritty as you'd expect—but with a plot twist you won't see
Asian hottie Jay Sean cements his
place in the ladies' hearts by speaking up for animals in shelters, circuses,
and fur farms in an exclusive interview with PETA.
Urge Shriners International to
stop funding cruel burn experiments at the University of Texas Medical Branch
at Galveston in which dogs, sheep, pigs, and mice are subjected to third-degree
burns on as much as 40 percent of their bodies.
Despite several appeals from
PETA, GOLDMARK Property Management,
Inc., and Sand Companies, Inc.—property management groups that own
multiple apartment complexes in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and
Nebraska—require tenants to declaw their cats. Urge them to join the many property management groups that
do not require these cruel and unnecessary multiple amputations.
Write to your U.S. senators and ask them to oppose the Sportsmen's
Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089), which would open federal public lands to
hunting. It would also allow officials to build dams to support fishing and
allow hunters to import "trophy" polar bears killed in Canada.
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Update: Thanks in part to those of you who responded to our action alert,
a trapped bird at Island Lake
Public School was
rescued after a hole was cut in a window frame. The young bird had fallen out
of his or her nest and had gotten trapped inside a wall.
Written by PETA
celebrate "Make a
Difference" Day—a national day of
volunteering taking place on Saturday—we're offering you the chance to win a
copy of the aptly named One Can Make a Difference: How
Simple Actions Can Change the World autographed by PETA
President Ingrid E.
Newkirk to help inspire you to
make a difference for animals every day.
One Can Make a Difference contains more than 50 original
essays by "differencemakers," including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sir
Paul McCartney, Willie
Bardot, and Oliver
Stone. The book also makes the point that you do not need to be
famous to impact the world—all you need is determination.
To enter to win a signed copy of One Can Make a Difference, leave a comment about what you are doing to make a difference for
pick up a copy of One Can Make a
Difference right now for yourself or for a friend, visit the PETA catalog. Happy "Make a
The contest ends on
October 31, 2011, and the most inspiring animal-friendly comment will win. We'll
as you're agreeing to both by commenting.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
Did you know that in addition to being the award-winning director of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, Oliver Stone is a decorated Army veteran? He's earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Stone's interest in the military and his compassion for animals is what prompted him to write this morning to Bolivian President Evo Morales thanking Morales for enacting Bolivia's first animal-protection regulation. The Bolivian government banned the abuse of live animals in military training exercises after the release of video footage that showed conscious dogs who screamed in agony as soldiers stabbed the animals' chests and heads with knives. In the letter, Stone says, "I applaud your efforts and thank you from the bottom of my heart. With this move, you have set a lifesaving precedent that we hope others will follow."
Considering that Stone was such an esteemed member of our armed forces, maybe the Department of Defense (DoD) will take note. People like Stone who have served in the military think that using thousands of live animals each year in trauma- and chemical casualty–training exercises is cruel and unnecessary. How many servicemen and servicewomen have to cry foul before the DoD follows in Bolivia's footsteps?
Written by Shawna Flavell
P.S. Oliver Stone also contributed an essay to Ingrid Newkirk's thought-provoking book One Can Make a Difference. Buy it now!
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.