It’s hard to believe that with the advanced human-based simulator technologies available that the military still continue to abuse and torture thousands of animals in the United States every year in the name of ‘training’ and ‘research’.
Approximately 30 years ago the military devised a plan to obtain 80 dogs from animal shelters, string them up and shoot them with high powered rifles so military personnel could learn how to treat traumatic injuries. After PETA leaked the story to The Washington Post, the then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, a passionate dog lover, put a stop to the madness and shortly after the use of dogs, cats and primates in training drills was banned, but this move did not protect numerous other species of animals that were, and still continue to be tortured by these unnecessary experiments.
Today thousands of pigs and goats are stabbed, shot, dismembered and killed in U.S military training drills. In a New York Times article, one service member described what happened to a pig during one of these ‘training’ exercises. “They shot him twice in the face with a 9-millimeter pistol, and then six times with an AK-47 and then twice with a 12-gauge shotgun. And then he was set on fire. I kept him alive for 15 hours.”
In 2012, never before seen footage was released showing disturbing undercover footage of live goats having their limbs cut off with tree trimmers, being stabbed with scalpels causing internal injury, and having their abdomens cut open in order to pull out their organs, all while the goats moaned and kicked. Veterinarians that reviewed the video stated that it was highly likely that the animals were not adequately anesthetized.
The above are not isolated incidents. Internal documents and published experiments from the armed forces reveal that the U.S military test everything from chemical and nuclear agents to bombs and biological weaponry on live animals.
The military continues to use and abuse animals for both training and research experiments despite the fact that military regulations require the use of “methods other than animal use” when they are available, and they are available in the form of simulation technology which is already widely embraced by over three quarters of our NATO allies.
Thankfully a federal bill to put an end to these archaic and barbaric practices by the military has been reintroduced and will prohibit the use of live animals for both medical and combat trauma injury training exercises for good.
The BEST Practices Act addresses the horrific animal abuses carried out by the military to simulate battle conditions and injuries by targeting live animals.
Senator Ron Wyden, one of the driving forces behind the BEST Practices Act said, “Today’s technology can provide extremely life-like training simulations that better represent the anatomy of a soldier and more realistically simulate the conditions on the battlefield. The DoD should phase out the use of live animals in favor of more realistic and humane technologies that will provide better overall trauma training.”
Take action now by signing the Care2 petition. You can also contact your U.S Representative and ask him or her to support the BEST Practices Act. Another way to show your support is to write to the U.S Department of Defense and Homeland Security urging them to replace the use of animals with humane and superior human-based simulator alternatives.
Non-human animals may not be on the battlefields, but they too are the victims of war. It is our responsibility to speak out against this violence and ensure the military honor pledges made to replace these cruel practices.
Photo Credit: The U.S. Army