In a groundbreaking PETA victory more than three decades in the making, the U.S. military has agreed to replace the use of animals in six different areas of medical training with modern human-patient simulators. These advanced simulators will better prepare medical personnel to treat injured soldiers and will prevent countless animals from being cut into and having hard plastic tubes repeatedly forced down their throats, among other invasive and often deadly procedures.
As reported in a Boston Globe cover story, in a recently released memorandum, Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Jonathan Woodson determined that “suitable simulation alternatives can replace the use of live animals” in certain trauma and other surgical training courses and in obstetrics and gynecology residency, among other medical education areas. PETA specifically requested that the military adopt the simulators for trauma and pediatric intubation training, two of the areas for which they will now be used. Woodson ordered all service branches “to fully transition to the use of simulations in these programs by no later than January 1, 2015.”
It will be a happy new year for countless animals.
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) announcement is a monumental step forward and follows numerous letters and complaints filed by PETA and military and civilian medical experts as well as protests and hundreds of thousands of e-mails from concerned PETA supporters specifically calling for medical training using human simulators instead of animals. The DoD has heard us loud and clear.
In just the last few years, PETA persuaded the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army to scale back their use of animals substantially and to require that more personnel be trained exclusively with advanced simulators and other non-animal methods. We persuaded the Army to replace its cruel use of monkeys in chemical-attack training exercises with simulators and swayed the Naval Medical Center San Diego, the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and Madigan Army Medical Center to replace their use of cats and ferrets in pediatric intubation training with simulators.
This historic victory is huge progress and brings us much closer to the day when animals are no longer abused and killed in any military training exercises.
We continue to press the military to fully replace the use of animals in all medical training drills, particularly those in which animals are shot, dismembered, burned, and killed. Thousands of animals are used each year in these horrific and antiquated trainings, even though more than three-quarters of the U.S.’ NATO allies successfully train their armed forces without the use of any animals whatsoever.
You Can Help!
Please send a polite e-mail to military officials to thank them for replacing the use of animals in several medical training areas and urge them to end the use of animals completely.