U.S. Coast Guard Is PETA’s 2018 ‘Agency of the Year’

Animal Rescues During Hurricane Florence and End of Deadly Trauma Training Drills Prompt First-of-Its-Kind Award

For Immediate Release:
November 29, 2018

Audrey Shircliff 202-483-7382

Washington – For becoming the first branch of the U.S. armed forces to end the use of animals in deadly trauma training drills—and for rescuing hundreds of animals from drowning during Hurricane Florence—the U.S. Coast Guard has been named PETA’s 2018 Agency of the Year. This is the first time the group has issued this award.

The Coast Guard’s review of the training exercises—in which goats were shot, stabbed, and cut apart—followed PETA’s release of graphic video footage showing service members cutting off goats’ legs with tree trimmers. Earlier this year, the Coast Guard confirmed that it had ended this practice after suspending it in 2017, when Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft told members of Congress that he found the exercises “quite honestly abhorrent.”

After Hurricane Florence, Coast Guard crews rescued hundreds of animals, including at least 91 dogs and cats who’d been left behind to face the rising floodwaters in North Carolina. When a levee broke along the Cape Fear River, helicopter crews equipped with night-vision goggles rescued another 33 animals.

“The U.S. Coast Guard is PETA’s first-ever Agency of the Year for saving animals through groundbreaking policy changes and daring emergency rescues alike,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “If every branch of the armed forces followed the Coast Guard’s lead, the world would be a far safer place for vulnerable dogs, cats, pigs, and goats.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—is encouraging support for the bipartisan Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act, which would ensure that service members across all branches of the military stop cutting apart live animals and instead learn lifesaving medical skills through the use of more effective, ethical, and economical human-patient simulation technology.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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