PETA, Military Docs To Florida Nat’l Guard: Cancel Deadly Trauma Training On Animals

Whistleblower Prompts Group’s Appeal Citing Military Regulation Requiring Superior, Non-Animal Training Methods

For Immediate Release
August 13, 2013

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Tampa, Fla. — Based on a whistleblower’s report that the Florida National Guard’s 256th Area Medical Support Company will participate in crude trauma training sessions in Tampa from Friday through Sunday in which animals will be stabbed, otherwise injured, and killed, PETA has sent an urgent letter to the adjutant general of the Florida National Guard asking him to cancel the activity and adhere to Department of Defense policies that require the use of modern non-animal training methods when available. As PETA points out in its letter—which is co-signed by former military medical personnel—many U.S. and allied military training facilities use only sophisticated human-patient simulators that breathe, bleed, and even “die” to teach lifesaving medical skills.

“Mutilating and killing animals is a cruel and ineffective way to teach service members to help human beings—and it violates the Department of Defense’s rules requiring that superior simulators be used whenever available,” says former Navy Hospital corpsman Matt Freeman, who now works at PETA and co-signed the complaint. “PETA is calling on the Florida National Guard to improve its preparedness by using realistic, modern simulators to train its medical personnel.”

Last year, PETA exposed a military trauma course in which live goats had their limbs broken and cut off with tree trimmers. Exercises such as this one continue in some U.S. military facilities, even though most civilian facilities and many military facilities have completely replaced animal laboratories with superior lifelike simulators. Earlier this year, following pressure from PETA, the Army confirmed that it’s scaling back its use of animals in favor of an increased use of simulation technology. Similarly, the Navy Trauma Training Center, the Air Force Center for the Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills, the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, and the Army’s Rascon School of Combat Medicine currently use exclusively non-animal methods for training their medical personnel.

Nearly 80 percent of U.S. NATO allies use only non-animal methods for training medical personnel, and multiple studies have confirmed their superiority over deadly animal-based drills.

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