Scandal Exposed: Justice Department Wastes Tax Money to Shoot, Stab Animals

PETA Calls On U.S. Attorney General to Prohibit FBI and U.S. Marshals Service From Shooting, Stabbing Live Animals in Trauma Training Drills

For Immediate Release:
October 31, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382


After learning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service recently awarded more than $100,000 in taxpayer money to private contractors to conduct drills in which live animals are often shot, stabbed, and dismembered in attempts to recreate human traumatic injuries, PETA fired off an urgent letter yesterday calling on U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr to end the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) use of animals in trauma training.

Following years of pressure from PETA and members of Congress, the then–commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the use of animals for trauma training “abhorrent” and ended this practice in 2017, and the U.S. Defense Health Agency said that trauma drills on animals are “outdated and cost-prohibitive” and “not anatomically accurate.” Last year, President Donald Trump signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the Department of Defense to use medical simulation technology “to the maximum extent practicable” for trauma training. The DOJ lags behind in moving away from deadly drills involving animals.

“Hacking the limbs off live pigs or goats is no way to train Justice Department officials to treat human traumatic injuries,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “PETA is calling on Attorney General William Barr to stop wasting taxpayer money on these horrific, needless, and obsolete drills immediately.”

A PETA video exposé of a Coast Guard trauma training drill similar to those conducted by the DOJ showed instructors cutting off inadequately sedated goats’ legs with tree trimmers, cutting into their abdomens to pull out internal organs, and stabbing animals as they moaned and kicked. A subsequent exposé of the self-proclaimed “single largest trainer of US military forces in operational medicine” revealed that live pigs were shot and instructors cut into the animals to induce bleeding. Today, the Coast Guard and many military facilities use effective, ethical, and economical human-simulation technology to teach lifesaving skills.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

Note: PETA supports animal rights and opposes all forms of animal exploitation and educates the public on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign in support of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or any political party.

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