Written by PETA
In a huge victory for vervet monkeys, U.S.
military officials have confirmed that the Army is ending cruel and archaic monthly
training exercises at the Aberdeen
Proving Ground in which monkeys are poisoned with a drug overdose that
makes them suffer from violent seizures in a crude demonstration of the effects of nerve-agent exposure. Instead of abusing terrified monkeys, Aberdeen—the only Army base in
the country that uses animals for this training—will now use human patient simulators, just as every other military facility already does.
The move follows months of vigorous campaigning by PETA.
PETA's campaign against the barbaric chemical
casualty training exercises included a series of protests this week outside the
annual meeting of the Association
of the United States Army. Supporters of this effort included veterans,
physicians, active service members, and actor Woody Harrelson, who sent a letter on PETA's behalf to Army Chief
of Staff Ray Odierno. Many others have also been protesting at Army recruitment
centers, flooding the offices of Army officials with e-mails and phone calls, and
even gathering outside the homes of Army officials affiliated with the monkey lab. One PETA member
even disrupted a speaking event last week by Aberdeen's commanding general, Nick Justice.
Please send an e-mail to Maj. Gen. Nick Justice to
thank him for this compassionate decision and ask that he ensure that the
transition to simulators be made immediately.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
For two years, we've been protesting the U.S. government's declaration of war on animals. The military abuses thousands of healthy animals in trauma training exercises, even though superior non-animal methods are available. In these exercises, pigs are shot, stabbed, and burned; goats have their legs broken with bolt cutters and cut off with shears; and monkeys are poisoned with toxic chemicals.
Now, U.S. Representative Bob Filner (D-Calif.) has joined the effort to replace the cruel and crude use of animals in military medical training by introducing the BEST Practices Act (H.R. 4269). This act, if passed, would replace the current deadly use of live animals with sophisticated, human-focused training methods, such as high-tech human patient simulators, that better prepare soldiers to treat their fallen comrades on the battlefield.
This week, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is leading Citizen Lobbyist Week, encouraging people across the country to back the BEST Practices Act and speak out in behalf of the pigs, goats, and monkeys who are tormented on military bases. You can take action by asking your congressional representative to support the bill. Get out your pleather boots, soldiers—here's to no more animal casualties!
Written by Logan Scherer
The U.S. military has declared war on animals by burning, stabbing, and shooting them in unnecessary training exercises, and it's time to fight back! Animals need you to enlist in the army of animal lovers willing to speak out against these cruel exercises. If you go above and beyond the call of duty for this mission, you'll be in with a great chance to win an iPod shuffle.
Enlist Now Join the battle for animals by signing our Facebook petition to end military trauma training on animals.
Recruit Your FriendsClick "Ask Friends to Sign" on the petition page to recruit your friends to this cause. The more invites you send out, the more people you will recruit. Tell them how live pigs are shot, stabbed, and burned; live goats have their legs broken with bolt cutters and cut off with shears; and live monkeys are poisoned with harmful chemicals.
Go Home VictoriousThe individual who collects the most petition signatures by September 10, 2009 wins the iPod Shuffle. We'll announce the winner on September 14, 2009.
Share the petition on your Facebook wall and everywhere else you can. The harder you fight, the larger the impact you'll make, and the greater the chance is that you'll go home with an iPod in hand.
Please take action today for all the monkeys, pigs, sheep, and other nonhuman victims killed in military training. Humane, responsible training is essential in our effort to work toward a peaceful world. Learn more about this campaign at PETA.org/trauma.
Good luck, soldier!
Just like the Beach Boys, we wish they all could be California girls—because California girls put on one heck of a protest! Check out these Left Coast ladies in action outside Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California:
Credit also goes to the California boys who attended the protest, including Scott Adams, a retired paramedic who used to teach trauma training courses (without using animals, of course). As he told a reporter for North County Times, "If I hadn't taught trauma, I probably wouldn't have formed such a strong opinion. They could use human cadavers; that would more closely mimic what they're trying to teach."
If you want to see for yourself what the protesters are up in arms about, check out the graphic photos that PETA has obtained of pigs who were stabbed, mutilated, and killed by Deployment Medicine International, the military contractor that conducts trauma training exercises for Camp Pendleton. After viewing the photos, please send an e-mail urging the government to stop stabbing and shooting animals and start using non-animal alternatives in all trauma training exercises.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Y'all know how we feel about killing animals for "trauma training" by now, right? (Hint: It sucks—to put it mildly.)
Well, after learning that live pigs are reportedly being shot and stabbed in a California avocado grove owned by police officer David Bishop—all as part of trauma training exercises conducted by Washington-based Deployment Medicine International (DMI)—we were outraged. Not only is it unnecessary to mutilate and kill pigs—or any other animals—for trauma training, but to do so in an avocado grove may be illegal.
That's because Bishop's land isn't zoned for trauma or medical training exercises under the County of San Diego's zoning ordinances. Since San Diego County allows the director of its Department of Planning and Land Use to penalize zoning violators, we've fired off a letter to the current director, Eric Gibson, asking him to investigate Bishop and DMI for illegal activity.
Stabbing and shooting pigs to train medical personnel how to treat human injuries is positively medieval. With all the non-animal methods that are readily available, there are better models of human anatomy and physiology than pigs. Don't animals—and trauma victims—deserve better?
Written by Jeff Mackey
This is hot off the press, folks. We just heard from an Army medic today that several goats who had been used in a trauma training exercise at Fort Lewis were allegedly discarded in sealed plastic bags even though they were still breathing.
The goats had been subjected to all sorts of horrific exercises, including having holes cut in their chests to relieve an induced massive buildup of pressure in their lungs, having their throats punctured, and having their ribs cracked open to expose their beating hearts, all before being injected with a chemical to induce cardiac arrest. Apparently, their vital signs weren't checked before they were chucked into trash bags like rotten produce.
PETA has been arguing for months that such trauma training exercises are in violation of Department of Defense (DOD) rules that bar the use of animals for training exercises if humane alternatives exist (which they do, in abundance). But even if the DOD isn't ready to cede that point, surely it can agree that suffocating animals in plastic bags is inexcusable.
Our whistleblower tells us that dozens more goats are slated to be used in trauma training exercises in the coming days and weeks, so we're wasting no time in demanding that the exercises be stopped immediately. Read our letter to Fort Lewis and then see our action alert on this topic here.
In a move that is waaaay long past overdue, a military panel has recommended adding cruelty to animals to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is the foundation of US military law. Hard to believe it wasn't already in there, but we're just glad it's in the works now.
Last year, PETA called for such a provision after a video of a Marine apparently throwing a live puppy off a cliff circulated on the Internet. If this new regulation is added, service personnel who commit such atrocities could be prosecuted specifically for cruelty to animals, as opposed to military authorities having to scramble to find some vaguely-worded offense, such as "unbecoming conduct," to file such crimes under.
The law is intended to address crimes like killing or abandoning companion animals, but maybe it will also add fuel to our case that lethal military trauma training exercises on animals violate military code too.
Before it can be added to the UCMJ, the new provision has to be approved by Congress. Congress, you know what you have to do.
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!
After less than a month of PETA campaigning, the Bolivian minister of defense went on that country's national television to announce an historic ban on all animal abuse in military training exercises, stating that the Bolivian government is issuing Resolution 217 to prohibit all acts of violence, exploitation, and mistreatment that provokes the death of animals. Not only has Bolivia beaten the U.S. military to the punch, this ban is also Bolivia's first military animal protection regulation ever.
This news comes as a direct result of PETA's and PETA Germany's campaigns, which were launched after horrific video footage was uncovered showing the Bolivian military's mutilation and killing of dogs in combat-training exercises. More than 20,000 supporters joined in the effort, including a leading Bolivian congresswoman, Ximena Flores Castro, who talked with PETA and then met with the defense minister in order to get the resolution on the books.
Resolution 217 puts an end to military training exercises in which dogs were mercilessly stabbed to death as they screamed in pain. Not one more animal—dog or otherwise—will have to suffer such a miserable fate at the hands of the Bolivian military. The resolution also includes sanctions for those who violate the regulation.
This is a giant step in the right direction for Bolivia, and we hope to continue working closely with government officials to enact more animal protection laws.
Everyone who spoke out against this cruelty deserves a big pat on the back! Let's keep up the momentum and urge the U.S. military to follow Bolivia's compassionate lead.
Written by Shawna Flavell
Over the past 16 months, PETA has waged a relentless campaign to end the military's archaic trauma-training exercises. In these exercises, thousands of live goats and pigs are shot, stabbed, cut apart, and burned, and monkeys are poisoned with nerve chemicals. We called on the Department of Defense (DoD) to investigate the military's methods immediately, and they appear to be taking our request seriously.
The DoD has chartered a Joint Analysis Team (JAT) to "examine the use of animals for medical education and training across the Services." The JAT will also submit a report containing "actionable recommendations" for the DoD to follow.
DoD regulations specifically state that non-animal methods must be used whenever scientifically valid and comparable alternatives are available. The DoD's use of live animals in trauma-training exercises is unnecessary. Various installations in the Air Force and Navy have been using alternatives, such as high-tech human patient simulators and rotations in trauma hospitals, for several years. Additionally, these second-rate training methods put our soldiers at risk.
We're hopeful that the JAT will come to the obvious conclusion that the DoD should end these cruel tests immediately and opt for more humane, educational alternatives. Check out the letter we sent to them about this issue here, and leave a comment to let us know what you think.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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.