Army Begins Scaling Back Use of Animals in Cruel Trauma Training

Nonmedical Army Personnel Now Banned From Mutilating and Killing Animals in Deadly Drills—More Changes to Come

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2013

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington — The Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) of the Army has confirmed to PETA a major shift in Army policy that will significantly reduce the number of animals cut apart, shot, stabbed, and killed in archaic trauma training drills at military bases.

A new Army policy states, “Non-medical personnel are not authorized to participate in training that involves the use of animal models.” Previously, many nonmedical Army personnel participated in these exercises, which are similar to the disturbing military trauma course PETA exposed last year in undercover video footage showing live goats having their limbs broken and cut off with tree trimmers.

Servicemembers will instead be trained using modern non-animal methods, including “commercial training manikins, moulaged actors, cadavers, or virtual simulators.” Studies by military and civilian researchers have shown that these humane methods prepare personnel to treat traumatic injuries better than animal laboratories do.

“The days when military personnel are forced to mutilate and kill animals in archaic training exercises are numbered,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The Army’s new policy is an important step, and PETA will continue to push all branches of the military to stop using animals in all trauma training exercises—for nonmedical and medical personnel alike.”

According to the OTSG, this change is one of several that will be unveiled in the coming months as a result of a series of meetings that began in February about restructuring the Army’s medical training program.

Many U.S. military facilities—and more than three-quarters of U.S. NATO allies—use only non-animal methods for training medical personnel.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind