Gideon Raff of ‘Homeland’ Talks to Congress About Humane Military Training

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At a Capitol Hill briefing co-hosted by PETA today, Gideon Raff—the Emmy Award–winning executive producer of the hit TV shows Homeland, Dig, and Tyrant and an Israel Defense Forces combat veteran—showed members of Congress how they can better prepare troops for the battlefield and save animals’ lives. Together with PETA and honorary hosts Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Gideon led a standing-room–only presentation in which members of Congress and their staffers  learned about how realistic, cost-effective human-patient simulators can replace archaic U.S. military medical training in which thousands of live animals are shot, stabbed, and killed each year. Lieu, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, delivered opening remarks, and attendees viewed a live demonstration of cutting-edge human-patient simulators designed specifically for military training.

“Having served in an Israel Defense Forces special combat unit, I have the utmost concern for the health and security of the heroic service members—like those portrayed on my shows—who risk their lives to protect our safety and freedom,” Gideon said. “Research has proven time and again that the military doesn’t need to mutilate animals to save troops’ lives.”

Gideon was joined by expert physicians with experience in military and civilian emergency medicine, who also described why training on human-patient simulators is more effective than maiming animals.

Congress is currently considering the Battlefield Excellence Through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act (S. 587/H.R. 1095)—a bipartisan bill cosponsored by Reps. Grijalva and Lieu that would phase out the use of animals in military medical training in favor of the simulation methods that nearly 80 percent of the U.S.’ NATO allies and more than 98 percent of civilian facilities in the U.S. use instead of animals.

The congressional briefing followed a PETA video exposé released in 2015 that revealed abuse of animals and soldiers by a leading military medical-training contractor.

What You Can Do

Please send a polite e-mail to your congressional representatives and urge them to SUPPORT the BEST Practices Act.

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