The New Year brings good news for our four-legged friends. By signing the National Defense Authorization Act on January 2, President Obama has called for a report of the use of live animals in military training. The military used animals—usually pigs or goats—in combat-trauma training courses that involved injuring the animals (often amputating their limbs or shooting them) so that trainees could practice medical intervention on the victims, as they might an injured soldier on the battlefield. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has long lobbied to end the cruel practice, especially in light of the available human-based alternative methods. Holding the military accountable for how animals are used will help determine the next steps in terms of pushing for legislation to end the practice altogether.
Update: When we originally reported this story, we inaccurately stated that animals will no longer be used in these military trainings. In fact, the military will need to provide Congress with a report on how they are used, and provide a timeline for the phase out of animals’ use. We regret the error.
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