Each year in Department of Defense courses, more than 6,000 pigs and goats are wounded and killed in combat trauma training courses. In these courses, the animals are anesthetized, then military trainees practice emergency procedures on them. At the end of each course, the animals are killed.
The DOD has defended this practice despite the overwhelming evidence that a transition to human-based alternatives would provide a better educational experience for our service members and could therefore save more lives on the battlefield. These medical procedures are taught in the civilian world almost exclusively without the use of live animals. You can read more about these superior, nonanimal alternatives here.
The Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act was introduced in the House as H.R. 1417 and now has 20 co-sponsors. This important legislation, which will require the Secretary of Defense to use only human-based methods for training members of the Armed Forces in the treatment of severe combat injuries, will protect our troops and save the lives of innocent animals.
Please take action to urge your representatives to end animal cruelty in the Department of Defense.
America's troops deserve the best medical treatment. Unfortunately, the personnel responsible for treating battlefield injuries are receiving suboptimal education because the U.S. military relies on the use of animals. In some combat trauma training courses, an instructor cuts off the legs of a goat with tree trimmers.
I support efforts to phase in the use of human-based methods for combat trauma training by 2014, a deadline that Department of Defense experts have said the agency can meet. The DoD can provide educationally superior training for service members through the utilization of state-of-the-art medical simulators, immersion in civilian and military trauma centers, and other human-based methods.
Please take action today to improve military medical training by phasing out the use of live animals.