Whistleblower: Shooting, Mutilation of Live Goats to Take Place at Fort Sam Houston

PETA Seeks to End Upcoming Trauma Training Exercises in Which Animals Are Maimed and Killed

For Immediate Release:
January 20, 2017

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Fort Sam Houston, Texas

After receiving an urgent tip from a concerned whistleblower alleging that Army Reserve combat medics at Fort Sam Houston will soon be forced to shoot, stab, and kill goats in crude trauma training exercises, PETA fired off a letter to the base commander urging her to end the use of animals and to modernize this practice.

In its letter, PETA points out that military and civilian studies show that high-tech human-patient simulators are more effective, ethical, and economical than maiming and killing animals.

“Cutting open goats in training exercises provides military medics with substandard training, because humane simulation-based training methods are superior,” says Capt. Ingrid Taylor, D.V.M., USAF (Retired), a veterinarian with PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department. “There is no need to harm animals, upset our service members, and send medics into war zones inadequately prepared.”

According to video footage obtained by PETA, as well as firsthand accounts from service members, during military trauma training, holes are cut into the limbs, throats, and chests of live goats and pigs. In addition, these animals are shot and stabbed, their limbs are fractured and cut off, and they sustain injuries from landmine blasts and burns from propane torches.

A number of bases prepare service members without harming animals. The Army’s Alfred V. Rascon School of Combat Medicine at Fort Campbell in Kentucky does not use animals in its trauma program, stating that “[t]raining on [simulators] is more realistic to providing care for a person than training on animals.” Other military installations—such as the Navy Trauma Training Center and the Air Force Expeditionary Medical Skills Institute’s Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills—have also confirmed that they do not use animals in training personnel to treat traumatic injuries.

The Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act (H.R. 1095)—a bipartisan bill that would phase out the use of animals in military medical training in favor of human-simulation methods—garnered 94 cosponsors in the 114th Congress and was endorsed by The New York Times editorial board and top national medical organizations representing 255,000 physicians and doctors-in-training.

PETA’s letter to Fort Sam Houston’s commander, Brig. Gen. Heather L. Pringle, is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org/DOD.

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